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Ivermectin (IVM) is a robust antiparasitic drug with an excellent tolerance and safety profile. Historically it has been the drug of choice for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis global elimination programs. IVM is an oral insecticide and is a standard treatment against intestinal helminths and ectoparasites. The current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is a regional public health threat that requires immediate action. The public health system in Venezuela has crumbled because of a 70% shortage of medicines in public hospitals, low vaccination campaigns, and the mass exodus of medical personnel. Herein we discuss the repurposing of IVM to attenuate the burden imposed by the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Venezuela, including soil-transmitted helminths, ectoparasites and, possibly, vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. In addition, novel experimental evidence has shown that IVM is active and efficacious in vitro against Chagas disease, Leishmaniases, arboviruses, and SARS-CoV-2. In crisis-hit Venezuela, all these infectious diseases are public health emergencies that have long been ignored and require immediate attention. The versatility of IVM could serve as a powerful tool to tackle the multiple overlapping endemic and emergent diseases that currently affect Venezuela. The repurposing of this multipurpose drug would be a timely therapeutic approach to help mitigate the tremendous burden of NTDs nationwide. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Luis A Perez-Garcia, Isis E Mejias-Carpio, Lourdes A Delgado-Noguera, Jean P Manzanarez-Motezuma, Maria A Escalona-Rodriguez, Emilia M Sordillo, Euler A Mogollon-Rodriguez, Carlos E Hernandez-Pereira, Marilianna C Marquez-Colmenarez, Alberto E Paniz-Mondolfi. Ivermectin: repurposing a multipurpose drug for Venezuela's humanitarian crisis. International journal of antimicrobial agents. 2020 Aug;56(2):106037

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PMID: 32479893

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