Shorter treatment regimen, using antibiotic drug rifampicin was capable of targeting Wolbachia, finds a study carried out by a resesarch team from the A-WOL Consortium which is based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
A recent paper titled 'Short-Course, High-Dose Rifampicin Achieves Wolbachia Depletion Predictive of Curative Outcomes in Preclinical Models of Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis' was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The study explored the development of a shorter treatment regimen, resulting in adult filarial worm death (macrofilaricidal), by using the antibiotic drug rifampicin to target Wolbachia. Unlike doxycycline, this regimen could be safely administered to pregnant women and children.
Previously published findings by the authors have shown that a 4-week course of the tetracycline antibiotic, doxycycline, depletes Wolbachia populations in onchocerciasis and leads to long-term sterilization and a macrofilaricidal effect, whereas a 3-week course of doxycycline delivers sub-optimal effects.
This treatment regimen would be compatible for use in children and during pregnancy and, because of the shortened duration of administration required, would be more readily deliverable by health care systems in resource-poor community settings.