To evaluate the curative effect of albendazole/thalidomide co-therapy on eosinophilic meningitis in BALB/c mice caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
Male mice were infected with 50 A. cantonensis larvae and treated with albendazole (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg per day) alone, thalidomide (25, 50 or 100 mg/kg per day) alone, or a combination of albendazole (10 mg/kg per day) and thalidomide (50 mg/kg per day) for 7 consecutive days on days 5, 10 and 15 post-inoculation (PI), respectively.
Indicators used to measure this effect included: (i) worm recovery; (ii) histopathological score of meningitis; (iii) eosinophil counts; (iv) level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta and interleukin-5; (v) activity of enzymes, such as tissue-type plasminogen activator, urokinase-type plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinase-9; and (vi) CSF/serum albumin ratio. The results showed that albendazole/thalidomide co-therapy significantly decreased (P < 0.05) these factors when treatment was initiated on days 5 or 10 PI compared with treatment initiated on day 15 PI.
The timing of medication use is important and is closely related to the anthelmintic efficacy of a drug. For a given dosage, earlier medication use is more effective. This novel approach to treating parasitic meningitis may suggest other new methods of treatment.