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Acta Paediatr. 1994 Nov;83(11):1182-7.

Treatment effects in Trichuris dysentery syndrome.

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  • 1Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica.


Heavy infection with the geohelminth Trichuris trichiura causes the Trichuris dysentery syndrome (TDS). Growth retardation and anaemia are characteristic of TDS and both are associated with poor development. We have examined the growth and developmental responses to treatment in 19 children aged 27-84 months with TDS. Developmental levels (DQ) were measured with the Griffiths mental development scales. Compared with a control group matched for age, gender and neighbourhood, the TDS children initially had serious deficits in DQ (24 points, p < 0.001). After a year of anthelmintic treatment, the TDS children showed improvement in locomotor development (p < 0.001) compared with the controls. The TDS children also had initial deficits in height-for-age, weight-for-height, mid-upper arm circumference and haemoglobin levels. They caught up rapidly in indices of wasting (weight-for-height and mid-upper arm circumference) and showed steady improvement in height-for-age and haemoglobin levels. Catch-up in height was comparable to that of children recovering from coeliac disease. The importance of continuing prevention after initial treatment is highlighted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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