Fumagillin and Erythromycin in the Treatment of Amebiasis

View More View Less
  • Department of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana
Restricted access


In preliminary trials of fumagillin and erythromycin in Louisiana and Mississippi, 45 patients were treated. Of fifteen patients with E. histolytica infection receiving fumagillin, four suffered recurrences. Eight persons with amebiasis treated with erythromycin 600 mg. every six hours were cured. Of sixteen individuals treated with 30 mg. per kilogram of body weight per day four suffered recurrences. Both drugs caused the temporary disappearance of nonpathogenic amebae from the stools.

One-hundred twenty Panamanian patients were treated for amebiasis with fumagillin, erythromycin or a combination of both drugs. There was failure or recurrence of infection within seven weeks in over 15 per cent of 39 treated with fumagillin, no failure or recurrence in 18 treated with erythromycin and only one recurrence out of 63 patients treated concurrently with both drugs. These differences were not statistically significant.

A definite effect upon nonpathogenic amebae was observed with each type of treatment but there was a high rate of recurrence. In the case of each species of amebae, Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, and Iodamoeba bütschlii there was a higher rate of recurrence with fumagillin treatment than with erythromycin or concurrent use of both drugs. These differences were not statistically significant.

Erythromycin provided rapid relief of amebic dysentery in three of four patients, fumagillin in one of two and combined therapy in three of three.