Low efficacy of single-dose albendazole and mebendazole against hookworm and effect on concomitant helminth infection in Lao PDR.PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Jan; 6(1):e1417.PN
Albendazole and mebendazole are increasingly deployed for preventive chemotherapy targeting soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. We assessed the efficacy of single oral doses of albendazole (400 mg) and mebendazole (500 mg) for the treatment of hookworm infection in school-aged children in Lao PDR. Since Opisthorchis viverrini is co-endemic in our study setting, the effect of the two drugs could also be determined against this liver fluke.
We conducted a randomized, open-label, two-arm trial. In total, 200 children infected with hookworm (determined by quadruplicate Kato-Katz thick smears derived from two stool samples) were randomly assigned to albendazole (n=100) and mebendazole (n=100). Cure rate (CR; percentage of children who became egg-negative after treatment), and egg reduction rate (ERR; reduction in the geometric mean fecal egg count at treatment follow-up compared to baseline) at 21-23 days posttreatment were used as primary outcome measures. Adverse events were monitored 3 hours post treatment.
Single-dose albendazole and mebendazole resulted in CRs of 36.0% and 17.6% (odds ratio: 0.4; 95% confidence interval: 0.2-0.8; P=0.01), and ERRs of 86.7% and 76.3%, respectively. In children co-infected with O. viverrini, albendazole and mebendazole showed low CRs (33.3% and 24.2%, respectively) and moderate ERRs (82.1% and 78.2%, respectively).
Both albendazole and mebendazole showed disappointing CRs against hookworm, but albendazole cured infection and reduced intensity of infection with a higher efficacy than mebendazole. Single-dose administrations showed an effect against O. viverrini, and hence it will be interesting to monitor potential ancillary benefits of a preventive chemotherapy strategy that targets STHs in areas where opisthorchiasis is co-endemic.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN29126001.