Donors, endemic countries, researchers and program managers came together at the NTD Summit in Geneva, Switzerland between April 19-22 to celebrate progress and set a path towards meeting the 2020 goals for eliminating neglected tropical diseases. Five members of the DOLF team attended the NTD Summit to share important results with the NTD community. The meeting was also an opportunity for DOLF researchers to canvas attendees about how the DOLF might serve as a platform to address key challenges faced by NTD elimination programs for 2020 and beyond.
There was a lot of interest at the meeting in triple drug treatment for lymphatic filariasis. DOLF Project clinical trials led by Dr. Chris King have shown a triple-drug combination (ivermectin plus DEC with albendazole, or IDA) is superior to standard two-drug combinations for treatment of lymphatic filariasis. IDA could be a game changer for the LF elimination program by reducing the time it takes to reach elimination targets. However, safety studies are needed before IDA can be recommended for use by national filariasis elimination programs. DOLF principal investigator Dr. Gary Weil presented at talk on IDA at the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) meeting in Geneva. He shared encouraging results from a multicenter safety study with more than 23,000 participants that was recently conducted by DOLF partners in 4 countries. The World Health Organization will convene an expert committee to consider the potential value of IDA for the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis later this year.