Short report: total serum levels of the nitric oxide derivatives nitrite/nitrate during microfilarial clearance in human filarial disease.

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  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna, Austria.
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Nitric oxide (NO) has recently been shown to be cytotoxic to both microfilariae and adult Brugia malayi in vitro and in a murine model, as well against Onchocerca lienalis microfilariae in vitro. We studied the kinetics of nitrite/nitrate, both stable end products of NO, by high-pressure liquid chromatography during microfilaricidal chemotherapy in four filariasis (three Loa loa, and one Onchocerca volvulus) patients. High serum levels of nitrite/nitrate were released during microfilarial clearance and sustained elevated levels were observed six months after chemotherapy, suggesting a role of NO in the elimination of microfilariae in human filariasis.