Tattoo-mediated delivery offers possible treatment for sandfly-borne skin disease

A research team from around the world--Canada, Brazil, Belgium and Germany--published in Nature's open-access journal Scientific Reports a proof-of-concept study for a drug delivery system using a tattoo to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis, a potentially deadly skin disease spread by bites from sandflies. In mice infected with the Leishmania major and L. mexicana forms of the disease, the scientists found that introducing the drug oleylphosphocholine in the form of liposomes via a tattoo procedure resulted in fast recovery and regression of skin lesions in about one month. The tattoo itself necessitates a small amount of the drug compared with topical solutions, which can have unpredictable dosing. It's the first time tattoo drug delivery has been used to treat a skin disease, the researchers write in their report. Study

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