• Journal Article

The effect of single dose ivermectin alone or in combination with albendazole on Wuchereria bancrofti infection in primary school children in Tanzania

Citation

Simonsen, P. E., Magesa, S., Dunyo, S. K., Malecela-Lazaro, M. N., & Michael, E. (2004). The effect of single dose ivermectin alone or in combination with albendazole on Wuchereria bancrofti infection in primary school children in Tanzania. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 98(8), 462-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2003.12.005

Abstract

Examination of 1829 children from 6 primary schools in coastal Tanzania revealed overall Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaria (mf) and circulating filarial antigen (CFA) prevalences of 17.3% and 43.7%, respectively. A randomized double-blind field trial with a single dose of ivermectin (150-200 microg/kg body weight) alone or in combination with albendazole (400 mg) was subsequently carried out among these children. Both treatment regimens resulted in a considerable decrease in mean mf intensities, with overall reductions being slightly but statistically significantly higher for the combination than for ivermectin alone. The difference in effect between the two treatment regimens was most pronounced at 6 months, whereas it was minor at 12 months after treatment. The relative effect of treatment on mean CFA units was less pronounced than on mf. For both treatment regimens, reductions in CFA intensity appeared to be higher in children who were both CFA and mf positive before treatment, which may suggest that treatment mainly affected the survival and/or production of mf, rather than the survival of adult worms. New cases of infection appeared after treatment with both regimens among the pre-treatment mf and CFA negative children. Adverse reactions were few and mild in both groups, and mainly reported from pre-treatment mf and CFA positive children. The alarmingly high prevalence of W. bancrofti infection in primary school children highlights the importance of also determining the reversibility of already acquired early lesions, and the development of new measures and strategies to specifically protect children from later developing clinical disease