What is the Difference Between Ivermectin and Avermectin

The main difference between Ivermectin and Avermectin is that Ivermectin is a broad spectrum of anti-parasitic medication, while Avermectin is any of a class of macrocyclic lactones produced by Streptomyces bacteria that are used medically to kill parasites.

Ivermectin and Avermectin are two compounds that have gained significant attention in the field of medicine and veterinary sciences.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Ivermectin 
     – Definition, Features, Structure
2. What is Avermectin
     – Definition, Features, Structure
3. Similarities Between Ivermectin and Avermectin
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Ivermectin and Avermectin
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Ivermectin, Avermectin

Difference Between Ivermectin and Avermectin - Comparison Summary

What is Ivermectin

Originally discovered and developed as an anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin has demonstrated efficacy against a range of parasites and has been widely used in veterinary medicine. Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs known as macrocyclic lactones. It works by targeting and binding to specific receptors in the nerve and muscle cells of parasites, leading to paralysis and death of the parasites. It has proven highly effective against various parasites, including nematodes, mites, and lice. Ivermectin has been extensively used in veterinary medicine to treat parasitic infestations in livestock, companion animals, and horses. In humans, it has been approved for treating certain parasitic infections, such as river blindness (onchocerciasis) and certain types of roundworm infections. The drug has had a significant impact in reducing the burden of these diseases in endemic regions.

Compare Ivermectin vs Avermectin - What's the difference?

Figure 1: Ivermectin

In recent years, Ivermectin has garnered attention for its potential off-label uses in various conditions, including scabies, head lice, and, more controversially, as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Some studies have suggested that Ivermectin may possess anti-viral properties and could potentially inhibit viral replication. However, the evidence supporting its use in COVID-19 remains inconclusive and subject to ongoing scientific research.

What Is Avermectin

Avermectin is a class of natural compounds that has transformed the field of parasitic disease control since its discovery in the 1970s. Derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis, Avermectin, and its derivatives have proven highly effective in combating a wide range of parasites. Avermectin is a macrocyclic lactone compound with a unique molecular structure. It consists of a lactone ring with sugar moieties attached, which confers its potent anti-parasitic properties. The most well-known avermectin compounds are Avermectin B1a and B1b.

Avermectin exerts its remarkable effects by binding to specific receptors in the nervous and muscle cells of parasites. This interaction disrupts the functioning of the parasites’ nervous system, leading to paralysis and subsequent death. Avermectin is particularly effective against a wide range of parasites, including nematodes (roundworms), arthropods (such as mites and ticks), and insects. Avermectin and its derivatives have revolutionized the field of veterinary medicine by providing highly effective solutions for controlling and preventing parasitic infestations in livestock and companion animals. They are used to treat internal and external parasites such as gastrointestinal worms, lungworms, mites, lice, and ticks.

Avermectin’s broad-spectrum activity and high efficacy have made it an indispensable tool in animal parasite control programs. In agriculture, Avermectin has found applications as a potent pesticide. It helps to combat plant-parasitic nematodes, which can cause significant damage to crops and reduce yields. Avermectin’s effectiveness in controlling both animal and plant parasites has made it a valuable component of integrated pest management strategies in agricultural systems.

 Similarities Between Ivermectin and Avermectin

  • Ivermectin is a derivative of Avermectin and shares a similar chemical structure.
  • Both Ivermectin and Avermectin are derived from the bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis.
  • These compounds exert their anti-parasitic effects by targeting the nervous system of parasites.
  • Both Ivermectin and Avermectin exhibit broad-spectrum activity against a wide range of parasites, including nematodes, mites, ticks, and lice.

Differences Between Ivermectin and Avermectin

Definition

Ivermectin is a medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as macrocyclic lactones. At the same time, Avermectin is a class of natural compounds derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis.

Chemical Structure

Ivermectin is a derivative of Avermectin and has a  slightly modified chemical structure compared to the parent compound.

Potency

Moreover, Ivermectin is generally considered more potent than Avermectin.

Conclusion

The main difference between Ivermectin and Avermectin is that Ivermectin is a broad spectrum of anti-parasitic medication, while Avermectin is any of a class of macrocyclic lactones produced by Streptomyces bacteria that are used medically to kill parasites. Ivermectin is generally more potent than Avermectin.

Reference:

1. “Ivermectin: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings.” Drugs.com
2. “Avermectin – An Overview.” Science Direct.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Avermectin Skeletal” By DMacks (talk) edited a file created by User:Fvasconcellos – This file was derived from: Ivermectin skeletal.svg (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

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