E-news Issue 4
Monday, 07 June 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Menzies School of Health Research Honorary Research Fellow Dr Dev Tilakaratne examining a patient’s skin with a reflectance confocal microscope.
Menzies School of Health Research Honorary Research Fellow Dr Dev Tilakaratne examining a patient’s skin with a reflectance confocal microscope.

Clinical trial focuses on new treatment to beat scabies

Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies), Royal Darwin Hospital and Darwin Dermatology are conducting a new clinical trial testing a new investigational medicine (Moxidectin) which can be taken orally to treat scabies.

It could prove life-changing for adults and children suffering skin infections caused by the microscopic mite.

The most common treatment for scabies is a cream that must be thoroughly applied to the whole body, sometimes more than once.

Menzies Research Fellow Dr Dev Tilakaratne said that scabies can be more common in warm and tropical environments like Darwin, which can trigger outbreaks of the itchy condition.  

“This itchy skin infestation is caused by the tiny Sarcoptes mite that burrows into the skin causing an itchy rash,” Dr Tilakaratne said.

“Because the mite is so small it can only be seen using a microscope and the symptoms can easily be confused with other skin conditions, many people are unaware that what they have is scabies.”

Dr Tilakaratne said scabies is easily passed between close contacts including in households or between partners.

“Anyone who has had to treat scabies can tell you that the current treatments available can be inconvenient to use,” he said.  

Menzies are currently looking for study participants for this trial who may be compensated for their time.

If you are suffering from bad itching that’s worse at night or you have a rash between your fingers, on your wrists, elbows, knees, ankles or bottom that won’t go away contact the Menzies team  on 1800 SCABIEs (1800 722 243).