Cream formulations protecting against cercarial dermatitis by Trichobilharzia
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Dermatitis caused by penetrating bird schistosome cercariae is an emerging global public health problem. Infections may be prevented by the use of topical formulations that inhibit cercarial skin penetration. We evaluated nine water resistant formulations by exposing treated arms of volunteers to Trichobilharzia szidati cercariae. Six formulations protected from cercarial invasion. However, after immersion of the treated skin in water (2 × 20 min), only two formulations offered full protection: (1) Safe Sea™, a cream protecting against jelly fish, (2) niclosamide in water resistant sun protecting cream formulations at concentrations as low as 0.05%. In an in vitro system Safe Sea™ and a 0.1% niclosamide formulation caused a high damage rate in T. szidati (92% and 99% after 5 min; only niclosamide with lethal effect) but not in Schistosoma mansoni (1% and 72%; both formulations with lethal effect). However, a 1% niclosamide formulation damaged S. mansoni sufficiently (100% after 5 min) and might offer full penetration protection.