A Small Animal Model to Validate Onchocerca Macrofilaricides
Warwick Grant of La Trobe University in Australia will develop a small animal parasite model to test candidate drugs for treating the parasitic nematode Onchocerca volvulus, which causes river blindness in humans. They will establish infection of the related parasite Cercopithifilaria johnstoni in rats and evaluate the pathology for similarity to the human disease. The model will then be validated for testing human anti-onchocercal drug candidates by analyzing the effect of drugs with proven success in patients. Once the model has been fully validated, they aim to perform routine assessments of candidate drugs.