Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of levamisole hydrochloride on third-stage larvae of lagochilascaris minor in experimentally infected mice

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Abstract

Lagochilascariosis, a disease caused by Lagochilascaris minor, affects the neck, sinuses, tonsils, lungs, the sacral region, dental alveoli, eyeballs and the central nervous system of humans. A cycle of autoinfection may occur in human host tissues characterized by the presence of eggs, larvae and adult worms. This peculiarity of the cycle hinders therapy, since there are no drugs that exhibit ovicidal, larvicidal and vermicidal activity. Given these facts, we studied the action of levamisole hydrochloride on third-stage larvae in the migration phase (G1) and on encysted larvae (G3) of L. minor. To this end, 87 inbred mice of the C57BL/6 strain were divided into test groups comprising 67 animals (G1-37; G3-30) and a control group (G2-10; G4-10) with 20 animals. Each animal was inoculated orally with 2,000 infective eggs of the parasite. The animals of the test groups were treated individually with a single oral dose of levamisole hydrochloride at a concentration of 0.075 mg. The drug was administered either 30 minutes prior to the parasite inoculation (G1 animals) or 120 days after the inoculation (G3 animals). The mice in the control groups were not treated with the drug. After the time required for the migration and the encysting of L. minor larvae, all the animals were euthanized and their tissues examined. The data were analyzed using the Student’s unpaired t-test and the Levene test. The groups showed no statistically significant difference. Levamisole hydrochloride was ineffective on third-stage larvae of L. minor. These findings explain the massive expulsion of live adult worms, as well as the use of long treatment schemes, owing to the persistence of larvae and eggs in human parasitic lesions.

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Campos, D. M. B., Barbosa, A. P., Oliveira, J. A., Barbosa, C. A. L., Lobo, T. F. C., Silva, L. G., … Peixoto, J. de C. (2016). Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of levamisole hydrochloride on third-stage larvae of lagochilascaris minor in experimentally infected mice. Revista Do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, 58. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-9946201658043

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