New way of preventing malaria
Ivermectin is capable of killing insects in small concentrations, attainable in blood after oral ingestion. In Australia the use of ivermectin in bovidae as vermifugue led to ecological problems due to massive death of beetles that fed on cattle feces. The paper showed clearly that ivermectin with artemisin and piperaquine – the two last drugs with no activity against mosquitoes-, in doses higher than the usual for ivermectin (600 micrograms/k), increased the mortality of human-biting anopheles. No collateral effects were seen in patients who received the dose of ivermectin. However, human-biting female mosquitoes had a rise in mortality 21 days after exposure. The effects of this rise in mortality could be as significant as a 60% drop in number of deaths due to malaria in high-transmission areas. Perhaps, the same approach could be used to control the population of other mosquitoes. Somebody should conduct a similar study focused on our beloved friend, the Aedes aegypti. This would be one more way to control dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
Smit MR, Ochomo EO, Aljayyoussi G, Kwambai TK, Abong’o BO, Chen T, et al. Safety and mosquitocidal efficacy of high-dose ivermectin when co-administered with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in Kenyan adults with uncomplicated malaria (IVERMAL): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Infect Dis. 2018;18(6):615-26. http://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30163-4