An antibiotic used to treat a roundworm in people can also make them more likely to get it again, a new study has found.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, raise concerns about the safety of the drug, which is commonly prescribed for people with Lyme disease, a common tick-borne illness.
Researchers at the University of Washington, in Tacoma, Washington, found that people with the parasite that causes roundworm, called Culex pipiens, were more likely than those with the more common roundworms to get the infection again after a treatment with a drug that blocked the bacteria.
“The drug had no effect on the Cule x pipiens parasite in humans,” said lead author Dr. Matthew G. Soderstrom, a postdoctoral fellow in the UW’s Department of Veterinary Medicine.
“This was not a surprise because the drug had been shown to kill roundworms, but it raised more questions about whether it might have the opposite effect.”
Roundworms are a class of bacteria that cause infections that can cause serious health problems in humans, and they have been implicated in at least 10 cases of Lyme disease.
It’s also been linked to other infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, as well as to neurological disorders.
Researchers tested two different drugs, Clonazepam and Clonadol, to see if they would be effective against Culeps pipiens and roundworms in humans.
They found that the drugs, which are used to prevent infection by Culexes pipiens as well, could block the bacteria in the stomachs of mice.
They also found that Culexs pipiens cells can survive being killed by antibiotics, which makes them less likely to cause infection.
In a study published last year, Soderstorm and his colleagues found that Clonaxil and Clonalor, which were used to block Culecus pipiens bacteria, were equally effective in killing Culexcipiens pipiens.
They said they could not rule out the possibility that Clonalorb might also kill roundworm cells.
The study authors say that this finding indicates that Cules pipiens infection is a different infection from that of Culexus pipiens that occurs in the intestine.
“It could be that CULEXX pipiens is less resistant to antibiotic therapy than CULEx pipien infections,” Soderstorms co-author Dr. Robert S. Wills said in a statement.
“The new study suggests that C. pipiens may also be more difficult to treat than C. x pipien.”
In a press release, the University says it plans to publish the results of its studies next month.