Journal article

Treatment of tungiasis using a tea tree oil-based gel formulation: protocol for a randomised controlled proof-of-principle trial

Solomon Abrha, Julia K Christenson, John McEwen, Wubshet Tesfaye, Susana Vaz Nery, Aileen Y Chang, Tim Spelman, Sam Kosari, Gabriel Kigen, Simon Carroll, Jorg Heukelbach, Hermann Feldmeier, Andrew Bartholomaeus, Mark Daniel, Gregory M Peterson, Jackson Thomas

BMJ OPEN | BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2021

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Tungiasis (sand flea disease or jigger infestation) is a neglected tropical disease caused by penetration of female sand fleas, Tunga penetrans, in the skin. The disease inflicts immense pain and suffering on millions of people, particularly children, in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, there is no standard treatment for tungiasis, and a simple, safe and effective tungiasis treatment option is required. Tea tree oil (TTO) has long been used as a parasiticidal agent against ectoparasites such as headlice, mites and fleas with proven safety and efficacy data. However, current data are insufficient to warrant a recommendation for its use in tungiasis..

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