JAN 20, 2019 6:31 PM PST

Combination Therapeutic Effective for Leishmaniasis and HIV Patients

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a study published in PLOS Neglected Diseases, a special combination therapy has been proven for efficacy in cases of coinfection with Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As of now, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends AmBisome monotherapy for treatment, however, the study proposed a combination therapy of AmBisome and another drug called ‘miltefosine’ to be more effective.

Learn more about Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) and HIV Coinfection from a patient perspective:

Research has confirmed that 30 mg/kg of AmBisome is effective in 43-70% of patients with an HIV co-infection. However, AmBisome brings the proneness of toxicity and an increased risk of death. HIV increases the incidence of VL by altering it symptoms and worsening the illness along with treatment outcomes and rates of relapse.

Séverine Blesson and team, who are working on the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative in Switzerland, began a compassionate use of clinical studies in a treatment facility in Northwest Ethiopia consisting of combining AmBisome and miltefosine. Measurements of efficacy were taken according to parasite clearance at 29 days and 58 days. Results showed that after 29 days measurements for efficacy was 50% for AmBisome and 67% for the combination therapy. At 58 days, 55% efficacy was measured for the monotherapy and 88% for the combination treatment.

HIV infection remains a challenge for the control of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) control.

Credit: PLOS Collections Blog - Biology & Life Sciences

The study showed no safety concerns about the combination therapy. "The results of this randomized trial strongly support a change in the treatment recommendations for HIV-VL co-infected patients," noted the researchers—however, they do caution, "these results, even if encouraging, cannot be extrapolated to other settings without reservation."

Source: Science Daily


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About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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