Current and future strategies against cutaneous parasites

Man, Ernest and Price, Helen P. and Hoskins, Clare (2022) Current and future strategies against cutaneous parasites. Pharmaceutical Research, 39 (4). pp. 631-651. ISSN 0724-8741 (

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Cutaneous parasites are identified by their specific cutaneous symptoms which are elicited based on the parasite's interactions with the host. Standard anti-parasitic treatments primarily focus on the use of specific drugs to disrupt the regular function of the target parasite. In cases where secondary infections are induced by the parasite itself, antibiotics may also be used in tandem with the primary treatment to deal with the infection. Whilst drug-based treatments are highly effective, the development of resistance by bacteria and parasites, is increasingly prevalent in the modern day, thus requiring the development of non-drug based anti-parasitic strategies. Cutaneous parasites vary significantly in terms of the non-systemic methods that are required to deal with them. The main factors that need to be considered are the specifically elicited cutaneous symptoms and the relative cutaneous depth in which the parasites typically reside in. Due to the various differences in their migratory nature, certain cutaneous strategies are only viable for specific parasites, which then leads to the idea of developing an all-encompassing anti-parasitic strategy that works specifically against cutaneous parasites. The main benefit of this would be the overall time saved in regards to the period that is needed for accurate diagnosis of parasite, coupled with the prescription and application of the appropriate treatment based on the diagnosis. This review will assess the currently identified cutaneous parasites, detailing their life cycles which will allow for the identification of certain areas that could be exploited for the facilitation of cutaneous anti-parasitic treatment.