What’s the best treatment for soldiers or civilians exposed to nerve agents or toxic pesticides? Researchers from Battelle and the National Institutes of Health evaluated the efficacy of several potential therapies to find out. The full study (“Assessing the Therapeutic Efficacy of Oxime Therapies Against Percutaneous Organophosphorus Pesticide and Nerve Agent Challenges”) was published in the December 2015 edition of The Journal of Toxicological Sciences.
Organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents such as sarin, soman and VX have been a potential threat to military personnel and civilians in conflict areas since World War II. At the same time, civilian populations are at risk for accidental exposure to bioactivated OP pesticides such as paraoxon, chlorpyrifos-oxon and phorate oxon (PHO). These agents can cause rapidly developing symptoms including seizures, convulsions, respiratory failure and death. Given the rapid onset of symptoms, a quick-acting, efficacious therapeutic regimen is needed.
Oxime reactivators are a common component of anti-OP therapies. Researchers tested the efficacy of eight potential oxime therapies against VR, VX, parathion and phorate oxon (PHO) using a small animal model. The study was able to determine the most effective therapies and dosages against VR, VX and parathion. None of the tested therapies was therapeutically effective against PHO, although two showed some level of protection. The results will help to inform future research that will guide treatment protocols for people who are accidentally or intentionally exposed to OP chemicals.
Read the entire paper from The Journal of Toxicological Sciences here.