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Lancet. 1997 Aug 16;350(9076):480-4.

Randomised placebo-controlled comparison of ivermectin and albendazole alone and in combination for Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaraemia in Haitian children.

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1
Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.

Erratum in

  • Lancet 1997 Oct 4;350(9083):1036.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lymphatic filariasis and intestinal helminth infections are important disorders in tropical areas. Periodic treatment with albendazole is now used in many school-based intestinal helminth-control programmes. However, few such programmes exist for lymphatic filariasis, despite evidence that single-dose treatment with ivermectin can greatly reduce the concentration of Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae in the blood for months to years. We aimed to assess the potential for school-based control of lymphatic filariasis by investigating the efficacy and tolerability or combined ivermectin and albendazole in Haitian schoolchildren.

METHODS:

In January, 1996, we collected 832 20 microL capillary blood samples for inclusion in a randomised controlled study from children aged 5-11 years, and examined them by microscopy for W bancrofti microfilariae. Infected children were randomly assigned treatment with placebo (n = 29), a single 200-400 micrograms/kg dose of ivermectin (mean, 273 micrograms/kg, n = 28), 400 mg albendazole (n = 29), or a combination of 200-400 micrograms/kg ivermectin and 400 mg albendazole (n = 24). Children with high concentrations of microfilariae in the blood were admitted to hospital and adverse reactions were monitored for 3-5 days, otherwise children were examined at school or during a visit to their home. 4 months after treatment, we examined blood samples again for microfilariae.

FINDINGS:

113 microfilaraemic children were enrolled (mean age 7.8 years). 4 months after treatment, the proportion of children who remained positive for microfilariae was significantly lower in the ivermectin plus albendazole group (four [17%]), but there were no significant changes in the other three groups (20 [69%] placebo, 22 [76%] albendazole alone, 17 [61%] ivermectin alone remained positive; p = 0.004). Geometric mean microfilarial concentration decreased from 9.3 to 5.3 per 20 microL blood among children who received placebo; from 15.5 to 1.5 per 20 microL blood among those who received ivermectin only (p = 0.032); from 14.1 to 5.1 per 20 microL blood among those who received albendazole alone; and from 13.7 to 0.3 per 20 microL blood among those who received both ivermectin and albendazole (p = 0.0001). Systemic adverse reactions did not differ significantly between children who received ivermectin alone and those who were treated with ivermectin and albendazole [corrected].

INTERPRETATION:

For children with W bancrofti microfilaraemia, combined treatment with ivermectin and albendazole was more effective than treatment with ivermectin only, with no measurable increase in severity of adverse reactions.

PMID:
9274584
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(97)02231-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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