Assessing Safety and Efficacy of Oral Ivermectin in Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis Treatment
Principal Investigator: Dr. Dinesh Mondal
Research Description: Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by parasites spread to patients through sandfly bites, and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the deadliest type of leishmaniasis. If left untreated, VL results in death for almost all patients. Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) occurs in 3%-25% of treated VL patients within 4 years of treatment completion. PKDL can also occur in some patients without a prior history of VL. PKDL patients present with skin lesions and are otherwise healthy. Previous research has shown that PKDL can spread from patients to sandflies via these lesions, thus contributing to the cycle of infection and new VL cases. Therefore, finding affordable, effective and safe treatments for PKDL is critical to help reduce VL cases. While some treatments for PKDL exist, they can have high significant side effects, can be expensive and do not fully eradicate PKDL. Ivermectin is an economical and highly safe antiparasitic drug used to treat other neglected tropical diseases, such as intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, and ivermectin has shown anti-leishmaniasis activity in animal experiments. In this proof-of-concept clinical trial of 30 adult PKDL patients in Bangladesh, the research team will investigate the safety and response to treatment of oral ivermectin in comparison to current standard of care. Positive results from this study could lead to a randomized control trial with ivermectin for the treatment of PKDL in Bangladesh and possibly for other types of leishmaniasis.
Funding Partners: Cures Within Reach
CWR funding role: Primary funder