Difluoromethylornithine for arseno-resistant Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness

Lancet. 1987 Dec 19;2(8573):1431-3. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)91131-7.

Abstract

26 patients with arseno-resistant Trypanosoma brucei gambiense trypanosomiasis were treated with difluoromethylornithine (eflornithine), an inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, given intravenously, then orally. There was rapid disappearance of trypanosomes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), gradual decrease of CSF lymphocytosis, and parallel improvement in central nervous system status. Side-effects, including diarrhoea, anaemia, and hair loss, were common but tolerable and reversible. 5 patients died during or shortly after treatment. None of the 21 patients who completed therapy has had a relapse during the 6-30 month follow-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Arsenicals / pharmacology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced
  • Drug Resistance
  • Eflornithine / administration & dosage
  • Eflornithine / adverse effects
  • Eflornithine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Melarsoprol / pharmacology*
  • Recurrence
  • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense / drug effects
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / drug therapy*
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / mortality

Substances

  • Arsenicals
  • melarsonic acid
  • Melarsoprol
  • Eflornithine