Chemotherapy of filariasis – established strategies and new developments

Sabine Specht, Alexander Yaw Debrah, Ute Klarmann, Sabine Mand, Achim Hoerauf & Kenneth Pfarr
Lymphatic filariasis (lympoedema and hydrocoele) and onchocerciasis (dermatitis and ocular inflammation) caused by the parasitic filarial nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia spp. and Onchocerca volvulus lead to severe morbidity in developing tropical countries. Mass drug administration (MDA) programmes use ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine, often combined with albendazole, with the aim to eliminate filarial diseases. However, these drugs primarily only kill the first stage larvae, the microfilariae. Removal of the parasites’ mutualistic endosymbionts of the genus Wolbachia using...