The A∙WOL Approach

John Archer & Andrew Steven AWOL research technicians

A∙WOL has already reduced treatment times from weeks to just a few days

In both the lab and the field, A∙WOL are working to refine existing antibiotics to establish the best possible course of treatment which is practical for use within control programmes for human filariasis. We are also researching entirely new drugs to provide alternative treatments for human filariasis to beat resistance and to ensure that the long-term goal of global elimination of this public health problem is achieved.

These goals are aimed at addressing the strategies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health programme for Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis by “Improving treatment outcomes through research to develop a macrofilaricide drug that can eliminate the worm” and by “Eliminating transmission and/or disease by developing sustainable approaches for making better use of available drugs and drug combinations.”

A∙WOL has four approaches to beating filariasis:

  • Field Trials are refining existing administration of drugs (with proven activity against Wolbachia) to provide alternative treatments and to beat resistant worms.
  • Assay Development is using the latest laboratory techniques in combinational high throughput screening technologies as a novel tool to screen existing and novel compounds.
  • Library Screening is testing over 60,000 compounds against Wolbachia and filarial nematodes.
  • Target Identification is detecting the processes necessary for Wolbachia survival and why worms and Wolbachia have a symbiotic relationship.