Ivermectin Therapy for Onchocerciasis: Effect on Some Haematological and Biochemical Parameters
Objective: To investigate leucocyte mobilization, acid phosphatase and acetylcholinesterase activities during ivermectin therapy for onchocerciasis, to shed light on the mechanism underlying the involvement of the host\'s immune system. Method: A single oral dose of ivermectin (300 g/kg) was administered to 78 subjects (42 patients and 36 non infected) aged between 14 and 40 years. Blood samples were collected from the subjects prior to the administration of the drug at 3, 7 and 14 days post treatment. Results: There was no significant increase (P>0.05) in all the blood cell types throughout the study period. Significant increases (P<0.05) were observed in mean neutrophil and eosinophil counts on day 3 and days 0, 3, 7, and 14, respectively in the patients than in the controls. Mean lymphocyte counts were also significantly decreased (p<0.05) on days 3, 7 and 14 in the patients than in the controls. Both acid phosphatase and acetylcholinesterase activities were not significantly altered (p>0.05) throughout the study period. Conclusion: Killing of microfilariae by radicals generated from neutrophils; and the enhancement of eosinophils against Onchocerca volvulus after treatment with ivermectin is hereby suggested.
Keywords: Ivermectin, onchocerciasis, Host cellular immunity
Journal of College of Medicine Vol. 13 (1) 2008: pp. 7-12