FREDERICK, Md. — Army researchers at Fort Detrick say an antibiotic cream developed with international partners is effective against a disfiguring disease caused by sandfly bites in the Middle East and North Africa.
The study was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The cream was used on cutaneous leishmaniasis (kyoo-TAY'-nee-us leesh-mah-NYE'-ih-sis). The disease causes sores that have affected more than 3,000 U.S. service members since 2003.
A Phase 3 clinical study in Tunisia found that a cream containing paromomycin (par-oh-mo-MYE'-sin) and gentamicin (JEN'-tah-MYE'-sin) had a cure rate of 81 percent versus 58 percent among patients treated with a placebo. A cream containing only paromomycin had a cure rate of 82 percent.
The Army says the combination cream may be useful against a form of the disease found in the tropics.