Double-blind placebo-controlled study of concurrent administration of albendazole and praziquantel in schoolchildren with schistosomiasis and geohelminths.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the concurrent administration of albendazole and praziquantel was conducted in>1500 children with high prevalences of geohelminths and schistosomiasis. The study sites were in China and the Philippines, including 2 strains of Schistosoma japonicum, and 2 different regions of Kenya, 1 each with endemic Schistosoma mansoni or Schistosoma haematobium. Neither medication affected the cure rate of the other. There was no difference between the side effect rate from albendazole or the double placebo. Praziquantel-treated children had more nausea, abdominal pain, and headache but these side effects were statistically more common in children with schistosomiasis, suggesting a strong influence of dying parasites. The subjects were followed for 6 months for changes in infection status, growth parameters, hemoglobin, and schistosomiasis morbidity. In all 4 sites, a significant 6-month increase in serum hemoglobin was observed in children who received praziquantel, strongly supporting population-based mass treatment. (+info)
Biochemical hypothyroidism secondary to iodine deficiency is associated with poor school achievement and cognition in Bangladeshi children.
Iodine deficiency in pregnancy leads to poor cognitive function in the offspring; however, the effect of concurrent iodine deficiency on school-aged children is not clear. Several studies have shown that school children in iodine-deficient villages have poorer cognitive function than children in iodine-sufficient villages. However, villages differ in many factors that may also detrimentally affect children's development. In addition, the children's nutritional and health status has not usually been taken into account. In this study, we compared the cognitive function and school achievement levels of 170 children who had recently had low thyroxine (T4) levels [T4 /=70 nmol/L (euthyroid)]. The children were matched for school and grade level and came from the same iodine-deficient regions in rural Bangladesh. They were given a battery of cognitive, motor and school achievement tests. We also measured their nutritional status, examined their stools for geohelminths and assessed their home environments. A factor analysis of cognitive and motor function tests yielded two factors, a general cognitive factor and a fine motor factor. The children's height and arm circumference, experience of hunger, parental characteristics and stimulation in the home made independent contributions to their test scores. Controlling for these variables, the hypothyroid children performed worse than the euthyroid children on reading and spelling and the general cognitive factor. These findings indicate that a large number of disadvantages including hypothyroidism are related to the poor development of these children. (+info)
Knowledge, perceptions and behaviour of mothers toward intestinal helminths in Upper Egypt: implications for control.
Operational research was conducted in Qena Governorate, Upper Egypt, to gather the information needed to design an integrated control programme for intestinal helminths in the area. To this aim, qualitative and quantitative techniques were used on a sample representative of the entire governorate. Mothers were questioned about their knowledge and perception of intestinal helminths, their hygienic habits and health-seeking behaviour. At the same time, a coprological survey was conducted on all the children 2 to 12 years of age living in the selected households (n = 2657) to provide baseline data on the prevalence of infection with these parasites. The survey results showed that intestinal helminth infections were more prevalent in rural areas and in three of the 12 Governorate districts. Almost all the respondents considered worms harmful and were aware of the need for treatment. More than adequate knowledge was present on ways to prevent infection. Good hygienic practices were associated with a low prevalence of infection in the household. Practical recommendations were formulated to design a helminth control programme tailored to the local situation and to prioritize allocation of resources. Passive case detection appeared to be appropriate to the level of infection in Qena (< 15%). The intervention should target areas and districts where prevalence of infection was higher, and all children below 12 years of age. Health education, besides encouraging mothers to refer their children to the health units for treatment, should focus on improving hygienic behaviour. While schools might be the best channel to contact children, the use of informal channels of communication, such as television, should be promoted to reach the mostly illiterate mothers. The research highlights the importance of gathering information on mothers' perceptions and behaviour in the design and implementation of a community-based intestinal helminths control programme. (+info)
Children's consumption of dark green, leafy vegetables with added fat enhances serum retinol.
A randomized, double-blind, controlled study was conducted to determine whether the consumption of leafy vegetables by preschool children would enhance their serum vitamin A concentration to acceptable levels. Preschool children (n = 519; 2.5-6 y) in Saboba, northern Ghana, were randomly assigned to five feeding groups, differing essentially in the amount of fat and beta-carotene, fed once per d, 7 d per wk, for 3 mo. Serum retinol levels, anthropometric measurements, hemoglobin, rapid turnover proteins (pre-albumin and retinol-binding protein), worm infestation (stool examinations) and level of acute and chronic infection (serum C-reactive protein and acid glycoprotein) were determined before and after study. Relative to the baseline serum retinol values, consumption of dark green, leafy vegetables (Manihot sp. and Ceiba sp.) with fat (10 g/100 g) significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced serum retinol; consequently, the percentage of children with adequate retinol status increased from 28.2-48.2% after feeding (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences among groups, ages or pre- versus post-anthropometric measurements, hemoglobin concentration, or levels of worm infestation. The importance of these findings in alleviating and/or controlling vitamin A deficiency in developing countries is discussed. (+info)
Assessment of combined ivermectin and albendazole for treatment of intestinal helminth and Wuchereria bancrofti infections in Haitian schoolchildren.
This randomized, placebo-controlled trial investigated the efficacy and nutritional benefit of combining chemotherapeutic treatment for intestinal helminths (albendazole) and lymphatic filariasis (ivermectin). Children were infected with Ascaris (29.2%), Trichuris (42.2%), and hookworm (6.9%), with 54.7% of children having one or more of these parasites. Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaria were found in 13.3% of the children. Children were randomly assigned to treatment with placebo, albendazole, ivermectin, or combined therapy. Combination treatment reduced the prevalence of Trichuris infections significantly more than either drug alone. Combination therapy also significantly reduced the prevalence and density of W. bancrofti microfilaremia compared with placebo or ivermectin alone. Only combination therapy resulted in significantly greater gains in height (hookworm-infected children) or weight (Trichuris-infected children) compared with the placebo group. Combined albendazole and ivermectin was a more efficacious treatment for intestinal helminth and W. bancrofti infections in children and resulted in nutritional benefits not found with either drug alone. (+info)
The impact of population level deworming on the haemoglobin levels of schoolchildren in Tanga, Tanzania.
The impact of albendazole (400 mg) and praziquantel (40 mg/kg body weight) treatment of schoolchildren was compared with placebo according to the presence of anaemia (haemoglobin concentration < 11. 0 g/dl) and heavy (> 5000 epg) or light (< 5000 epg) hookworm egg load. The study was conducted in rural Tanga. Medication was administered in September 1994 and children were followed-up in January 1995. Overall, anthelminthic treatment reduced the fall in haemoglobin concentration compared with that observed in the placebo group (- 0.11 g/dl vs. - 0.35 g/dl; P = 0.02). Anthelminthic treatment was of greatest benefit to the 9% of children with both anaemia and heavy hookworm egg load (+ 0.67 g/dl vs. - 0.67 g/dl) and was also of significant benefit to the 38% of children with anaemia and light hookworm egg load (+ 0.07 g/dl vs. - 0.21 g/dl). It was of no significant benefit to children who were not anaemic. This study suggests that single-dose anthelminthic treatment distributed in schools in this area achieves haematological benefits in nearly half of children infected with S. haematobium and geohelminths (37% of total population). (+info)
Glomerulopathy associated with parasitic infections.
Although parasitic infections do not usually present with disturbance in renal function, glomerular lesions can be seen in most of these infections. The glomerular lesions observed in parasitic infections cover the whole range of glomerular lesions known, but most of them are proliferative. Little is known of the exact pathogenic mechanisms. In this review, we try to explain the glomerular lesions associated with parasitic infections in terms of the specific immunologic events observed during these diseases against the background of recent developments in the general knowledge of the pathogenesis of glomerular disease. (+info)
Development of a highly specific recombinant Toxocara canis second-stage larva excretory-secretory antigen for immunodiagnosis of human toxocariasis.
The specificity of the recombinant Toxocara canis antigen developed for the immunodiagnosis of human toxocariasis was compared with that of the excretory-secretory antigen from T. canis second-stage larvae (TES) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A total of 153 human serum samples from patients infected with 20 different helminths, including 11 cases of toxocariasis, were examined. No false-negative reactions were observed for the toxocariasis cases. When the TES was used at concentrations of 0.5 and 0.125 microg/ml, cross-reactions were observed in 79 (55.6%) and 61 (43.0%) of 142 cases, respectively. In contrast, when the recombinant antigen was tested at a concentration of 0.5 microg/ml, cross-reactions were observed in 19 (13.4%) of 142 cases. At a concentration of 0.125 microg/ml, however, the cross-reaction rate decreased sharply to only 2.1%, corresponding to 3 of 142 cases. The cross-reactions occurred with one case each of gnathostomiasis, paragonimiasis with Paragonimus miyazakii, and spirometriasis, in which high antibody titers were detected. In addition, the recombinant antigen showed negative reactions with serum samples from patients infected with Ascaris and hookworms, which are the most common parasites in the world. These findings are also supported by experiments with animals infected with Ascaris and hookworm. From these results, the recombinant antigen is highly specific for toxocariasis and may provide more reliable diagnostic results than other methods. (+info)