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- Loa loa is a parasitic worm that infects people in West and Central Africa and is spread by the bite of a deerfly. Adult worms (macrofilariae) live under the skin and cause symptoms such as swellings, itching, and hives. Smaller worms (microfilariae) are found in the bloodstream. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC), the recommended medication for Loa loa infection, can produce very serious side effects, especially in people with high numbers of parasites in the blood. Researchers are investigating new treatments for Loa loa that have fewer or less serious side effects.
- DEC is the standard treatment for Loa loa infection, but it can cause mild side effects in persons with low numbers of parasites in their blood, including itchiness, muscle or joint pains, or swelling of the face or limbs. Currently, there is no way to effectively prevent these side effects.
- Researchers believe that a certain kind of blood cells called eosinophils, which increase in the blood after DEC treatment, may be one of the causes of the side effects seen with DEC treatment. Reslizumab is a drug that helps prevent the increase of eosinophils in the blood. Giving reslizumab before DEC treatment might prevent the eosinophils from increasing and thereby might reduce some of the side effects from DEC.
- To determine whether reslizumab can prevent or reduce the side effects of treatment with DEC for Loa loa infestation.
- To evaluate the effect of reslizumab as part of the treatment for Loa loa infestation.
- Individuals between 18 and 65 years of age who have lived in or traveled to a loa-endemic region for at least 1 month. (Loa-endemic regions include northern Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, People's Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.)
- Participants must have low numbers of parasites in the blood, as determined by the screening part of the study.
- This study will last 24 months and will involve several visits to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
- Participants will be screened with a blood test for Loa loa parasites. Those who have a low number of Loa loa parasites in the blood will be asked to return for a full medical evaluation and the start of the treatment phase. Those who do not have Loa loa parasites in the blood, or those who have a high number of Loa loa parasites in the blood, are not eligible for this s...
Diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) treatment of Loa loa infection is complicated by the development of severe adverse reactions that are correlated with the number of circulating microfilariae in the blood. The cause of these reactions is unknown, but they are accompanied by a dramatic interleukin-5 (IL-5)-dependent increase in eosinophilia and evidence of eosinophil activation. This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study (conducted at the NIH Clinical Center) will assess whether and to what extent the administration of reslizumab (Cinquil(Trademark)), a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against IL-5, given 3 to 7 days before administration of the anthelminthic drug DEC (at 3 mg/kg 3 times daily for 21 days), prevents the development of eosinophilia in 10 adult subjects with Loa loa infection and 100-2000 microfilariae/mL. Secondary outcomes will include the severity of post-treatment effects, markers of eosinophil activation, and effects of reslizumab on microfilarial clearance.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:11-0400
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