Current interventions such as long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs), indoor residual spraying with insecticides (IRS) and malaria diagnosis and treatment have succeeded and greatly reduce global malaria burden. However, to create a world in which no one dies of malaria, novel and innovative tools are needed due to the emergence of current drug treatment and insecticide resistances.
In early 2017 MVRU has been funded to study the use of Ivermectin for malaria elimination in Thailand. This is a 4-year study funded by Congressional Directed Military Research Program, US Department of Defense. As a part of “Ivermectin Research for Malaria Elimination Network” which was formed after the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) since 2014, this is the first ivermectin study that is performed in malaria endemic area in Asia.
Ivermectin kills a variety of parasites and insects, including the Anopheline (vectors of malaria parasites). Researches showed ivermectin mass drug administration to humans could be toxic to blood-feeding mosquitoes and Plasmodium parasites. Ivermectin addition to current interventions, LLINs and IRS, is becoming a stronger malaria elimination tool.