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Medicineworld.org: A new oral treatment for lice

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A new oral treatment for lice




French medical scientists from the AP-HP (Henri Mondor Hospital and Avicenne Hospital) and Inserm (Unit 738 "Models and methods for therapeutic assessment of chronic illnesses" and CIC 202, at Tours) have recently demonstrated the effectiveness of a new molecule in the fight against lice. Faced with the emergence of increasing resistance to conventional therapys by these parasites, this new medicine represents a real therapeutic alternative which is effective in 95% of cases.

This work has been reported in the March 11th edition of The New England Journal (NEJM)
Lice are parasites which infest more than 100 million people worldwide each year. Children between the ages of 3 and 11 years are especially vulnerable because of their social behaviour (games etc.) which is favourable to the propagation of parasites.



A new oral treatment for lice

Eventhough conventional anti-lice lotions are effective in a a number of cases, an ever increasing resistance to these therapys has been observed. Like a number of parasites, lice have evolved their own strategy for survival in difficult conditions. Through evolution of their genetic inheritance, they have become insensitive to the usual insecticides (malathion and pyrethrin) contained in the lotions. In the case of pyrethrin, mutations in the amino acids involved in the development of the sodium channels, acting at the central nervous system level of the lice, have been identified and are responsible for this resistance.

The appearance of new forms of resistance seems to be constantly increasing and lice epidemics are becoming ever more difficult to treat and eradicate. Hence the necessity to find new therapeutic alternatives.

A multi-centre international study
Scientists from AP-HP and Inserm have therefore performed a clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of a new oral therapy (oral Ivermectin administered at 400 μg per kilogram) with that of a conventional anti-lice therapy (0.5% malathion lotion). The trial was conducted by applying one or other of the products twice, at an interval of seven days, to 812 contaminated individuals from 376 families.

Ivermectin is a compound from the avermectin family which acts by blocking neurotransmissions in the brains of invertebrates.

The results obtained by the scientists are convincing: 95% of the 398 individuals who received Ivermectin were free from lice 15 days after the start of therapy, as in comparison to 85% of the 414 individuals treated with malathion. Ivermectin is already available on the market. It is prescribed, in particular, for therapy of scabies.

For Olivier Chosidow, coordinator of the study, no doubt remains, "When conventional therapys against lice do not work, taking Ivermectin twice, with a seven-day interval, offers excellent results and represents a real alternative to conventional anti-lice lotions".


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
French medical scientists from the AP-HP (Henri Mondor Hospital and Avicenne Hospital) and Inserm (Unit 738 "Models and methods for therapeutic assessment of chronic illnesses" and CIC 202, at Tours) have recently demonstrated the effectiveness of a new molecule in the fight against lice. Faced with the emergence of increasing resistance to conventional therapys by these parasites, this new medicine represents a real therapeutic alternative which is effective in 95% of cases.

Medicineworld.org: A new oral treatment for lice

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