Microfilaria of L. loa in a thick blood smear. Credit: CDC
New Tool May Help Efforts to Eradicate Tropical Diseases
NIAID scientists and their colleagues have developed a portable tool to rapidly identify people with high blood levels of the parasitic worm Loa loa, a risk factor for adverse reactions to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. The device may help revive community-wide ivermectin treatment campaigns in West and Central Africa by enabling health workers to identify L. loa-infected people on the spot and potentially give them alternative therapies.