Short- and long-term effects of orally administered azithromycin on Trypanosoma brucei brucei-infected mice
Molefe, Nthatisi I.
Thekisoe, Oriel M.M.
Musinguzi, Peter S.
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Human African trypanosomosis (HAT) and animal African trypanosomosis (AAT) are diseases of economic importance in humans and animals that affect more than 36 African countries. The currently available trypanocidal drugs are associated with side effects, and the parasites are continually developing resistance. Thus, effective and safe drugs are needed for the treatment of HAT and AAT. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of azithromycin (AZM) on Trypanosoma brucei brucei-infected mice. Mice were randomly divided into 7 groups consisting of a vehicle control group, 5 test groups and a diminazene aceturate (DA)-treated group. Mice were treated orally for 7 and 28 days, as short-term and long-term treatments, respectively. Short-term AZM treatment cured 23% (16 of 70) of the overall treated mice whereas long-term treatment resulted in the survival of 70% of the mice in the groups that received AZM at doses of 300 and 400 mg/kg. Trypanosomes treated in vitro with 25 μg/mL of AZM were subjected to transmission electron microscopy, which revealed the presence of increased numbers of glycosomes and acidocalcisomes in comparison to the vehicle group. The current study showed the trypanocidal effect of AZM on T. b. brucei in vivo. The demonstrated efficacy increased with an increase in treatment period and an increased concentration of AZM