Targeting scabies for the next wave of resistance2,3

For more than 35 years, healthcare providers have predominantly used a specific molecule to eradicate the scabies mite: permethrin. It works by targeting the voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) that exist in hundreds of parasites, which ultimately leads to their paralysis and death.

However, the extensive use of permethrin in head lice, for example, has resulted in resistance at an alarming rate—virtually 100% across 48 states1. Given that the majority of parasites share the same biological structure and pathways, current clinical evidence contends that resistance has already occurred in scabies mites as well. The question now becomes: how prevalent is it? 2,3

For this reason, it is imperative that we identify new scientific mechanisms for effective resistance management and scabicides that are:

  • Safe to humans
  • Effective at the site of the infestation and throughout the mite lifecycle
  • Capable of eliminating both mites and viable eggs
  • Not systemically absorbed (active ingredient remains topical)
  • Not cross-resistant with other scabicides
  • Easy to administer

References: 1. Gellatly KJ, Krim S,Palenchar DJ, et al. Expansion of the knockdown resistance frequency map for human head lice (phthirapteran: pediculidae) in the United States using quantitative sequencing. Journal of Medical Entomology, 2016:1-7. 2.Walton SF, Myerscough MR, Currie BJ: Studies in vitro on the relative efficacy of current acaricides for Saroptes scabiei var. hominis. Tran R. Soc Trop Med Hyg. 94,92-96 (2000). 3.Khalil S, Kurban M, et. al, Scabies in the age of increasing drug resistance, PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Nov 11(11) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005920

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