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Ivermectin: From theory to clinical application

Ashour, Dalia S.
International journal of antimicrobial agents 2019 v.54 no.2 pp. 134-142
Bancroftian filariasis, Culicidae, Glossina, Phlebotominae, clinical trials, drug delivery systems, drug resistance, humans, ivermectin, malaria, myiasis, onchocerciasis, parasites, pediculosis, scabies, strongyloidiasis, trichinosis
Approximately 250 million people have been using ivermectin (IVM) annually to combat many parasitic diseases including filariasis, onchocerciasis, strongyloidiasis, scabies and pediculosis. Many clinical studies have proven its efficacy against these diseases and have reported the optimum dose and duration of treatment. Moreover, its antiparasitic range has increased to cover more parasitic infections, but it still requires further exploration, e.g. for trichinosis and myiasis. Furthermore, IVM showed high efficacy in killing vectors of disease-causing parasites such as mosquitoes, sandflies and tsetse flies. The World Health Organization (WHO) has managed many control programmes involving the use of IVM to achieve elimination of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis and to reduce malaria transmission. However, IVM is not exempt from the possibility of resistance and, certainly, its intensive use has led to the emergence of resistance in some parasites. Recent research is investigating the possibility of novel drug delivery systems for IVM that increase its potential to treat a new range of diseases and to overcome the possibility of drug resistance. This review highlights the most common human uses of IVM, with special reference to the new and promising properties of IVM.