Antiparasitic Drug Ivermectin Shows Promise In Study As Malarial Preventive

News outlets report on an abstract presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, taking place in Philadelphia this week.

BBC News: Nobel-winning drug ‘tackles malaria’
“A parasitic-worm-killing drug, whose discovery won the Nobel prize, may also cut cases of malaria, say researchers. Early data coming out of trials of ivermectin in Burkina Faso suggest it leads to 16 percent fewer cases of childhood malaria…” (Gallagher, 10/27).

The Economist: A drug used to rid people of worms is a new weapon against malaria
“…In four villages included in the trial everyone except pregnant women and young children received five doses of ivermectin, at three-week intervals. People in a comparison group of villages got just the first dose—which is the routine annual mass-treatment for worm diseases. The extra rounds of ivermectin … cut the number of malarial episodes among children under five by 16 percent — even though these children were not, themselves, receiving the drug…” (10/27).

Newsweek: Ivermectin, Drug for Parasitic Diseases Developed by Nobel Prize Winners, Could Also Control Malaria
“…Ivermectin, which was initially developed to control parasites in livestock, would be an ideal treatment for malaria since it’s already provided to communities where other parasitic infections are rampant. Over the last three decades public health officials have administered one billion doses of the drug in Africa and Latin America…” (Firger, 10/27).

Science: Drug could kill mosquitoes when they feast on human blood
“…It’s an interesting approach that should be explored further, says Michel Boussinesq, who studies ivermectin at the Institute of Research for Development in Montpellier, France. But the need to give ivermectin every three weeks could be a logistical problem, he says…” (Enserink, 10/27).

Wall Street Journal: Nobel-Winning Drug May Help Fight Malaria
“…The idea of using ivermectin to help break the cycle of transmission comes as development of new tools to fight malaria is accelerating. Researchers and advocates say it will take several new approaches simultaneously, from better drugs and bed nets to new mapping tools and vaccines, to eradicate the disease…” (McKay, 10/27).