The use of Fumagillin in the Treatment of Amebiasis

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  • Research Institute for Tropical Disease, Cairo, Egypt


Fumagillin, a new antibiotic, was tried in daily doses varying from 60–200 mg. in the treatment of acute amebic dysentery. The course was given usually for a period of 8–10 days. In the maximum daily dose of 200 mg., the drug was found effective in the symptomatic cure of the disease, while the Entamoeba usually disappeared from the stools 3–6 days after the start of treatment. Doses smaller than 100–150 mg. daily were inefficient.

Fumagillin was found however less effective than oxytetracycline or chlortetracycline, while the relapse rate after treatment was higher. Fumidil®, another drug of the same structure as fumagillin, was found more effective than fumagillin even when given in smaller doses. A dose of 60 mg. daily for a 10 day course was almost equal to 200 mg. daily dose of fumagillin given for a similar period. It is probable that Fumidil as used in this work was found more potent than fumagillin because the latter lost its potency by storage before use. Refrigeration is required to retain potency.

Side effects after both drugs are uncommon but include skin rashes and dermatitis, possibly of allergic origin.

Neomycin, another antibiotic, was found ineffective in the treatment of acute amebiasis when used in a daily dose of 4 grams for a period of 6 days. Its addition to fumagillin proved slightly better than either drug used alone.

The trial of a combination of fumagillin with oxytetracycline was found more promising and will be continued.