Treatment Prospects Emerge for Flesh-Eating Disease

Treatment Prospects Emerge for Flesh-Eating Disease
Source: Lameck Ododo/DNDi

Researchers have uncovered a potential breakthrough in treating mycetoma, one of the world's most neglected diseases. 

Caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, it often requires amputation due to tissue destruction. People who walk around barefoot, like children and laborers, are most at risk. 

The debilitating disease, is endemic in many African countries including Mauritania, Sudan and Senegal. 

The convention medication is “itraconazole” but another drug to treat toenail infections appears to be just as effective and easier to manage.

Clinical trials with “fosravuconazole”, developed by Eisai Co., a Japanese pharmaceutical company are promising. It only demands eight pills monthly whereas itraconazole requires 120 tablets. 

The drug’s efficacy was demonstrated in a second-phase trial, conducted in collaboration with the non-profit medical research organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, primarily in Sudan, which has the highest documented cases globally.  

Although typical clinical trials involve three phases, Sudan's government has authorized controlled use of the antifungal to treat patients at the Mycetoma Research Center in Khartoum.

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