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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1977 Mar;71(1):67-83.

Field trial of metrifonate in the treatment and prevention of schistosomiasis infection in man.


A field trial was set up to test the prophylactic properties of the organophosphorous drug metrifonate (Bilarcil Bayer AG). Subjects were rural African children living in an area of Rhodesia where Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni are highly endemic. The trial was conducted in three stages, a preliminary period of therapy followed by two six-month periods of prophylaxis. Parasitological and haematological tests were carried out monthly and major assessments (including clinical examinations) were carried out prior to the start of the trial and at the end of each of the three stages. Drug was given to the appropriate groups at a dose rate of 7-5 mg/kg once per fortnight for three doses during the therapy stage and four-weekly during the prophylaxis stage. Results with S. haematobium were very good. A 60% cure-rate was observed six weeks aection was obtained in those children continuing to receive the drug as a prophylactic, even during the season of highest transmission; intensities of infection in those who became infected were very low. Infection rates in the treated but unprotected group rose steadily from 40% at week 11 to 95% at week 70. There was a sigificant effect upon the intensity of S. mansoni infections only when pre- and post-trial data were compared. Apart from the anticipated (and previously reported) depression of plasma cholinesterase values no side effects were recorded. Drug tolerance and acceptibility were very high. It is likely that the costs of a year's protection against S. Haematobium using metrifonate will be significantly lower than protection by molluscicidal techniques or single courses of treatment with established drugs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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