Effects of three-month doses of ivermectin on adult Onchocerca volvulus

B. O.L. Duke, G. Zea-Flores, J. Castro, E. W. Cupp, B. Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Onchocerca volvulus worms in nodules from Guatemalan patients treated with four, eight, or 11 single doses of ivermectin (150 μg/kg of body weight) that were given once every three months were examined by routine histologic techniques and compared with worms in control nodules from untreated persons living in the same location over the same time periods. All treated nodules were removed four months after the last dose of ivermectin, i.e., 13, 25, or 34 months after the start of the trial. At the 25th and 34th months, i.e., after the eighth or eleventh doses of ivermectin, there were excess mortalities in female worms of 25.5% and 32.6%, respectively, over and above the levels in controls. Furthermore, the proportions of live females still producing scanty embryos up to the gastrula stage were only 7.7% and 18.2%, and no females were producing microfilariae. Ivermectin given at 3-month intervals also reduced significantly the mean numbers of live male worms in nodules, as well as the proportions of inseminated females. This regimen was effective in preventing embryogenesis to the microfilarial stage while, at the same time, it caused a slow but steady attrition of the adult worms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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