Efficacy of praziquantel treatment regimens in pre-school and school aged children infected with schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review.Infect Dis Poverty. 2018 Jul 05; 7(1):73.ID
Schistosomiasis is a serious public health burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Praziquantel is the only drug recommended by the World Health Organization to treat both urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis. The reliance on a single drug to treat a disease with such a huge burden has raised concerns of possible drug resistance mainly in endemic areas. This systematic review was conducted to identify gaps and recent progress on the efficacy of different regimens of praziquantel in treating schistosomiasis among children in sub-Saharan Africa where Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium are endemic.
A literature search of peer-reviewed journals was done on Google Scholar, MEDLINE (under EBSCOhost) and PubMed databases using pre-defined search terms and Boolean operators. The search included studies published from 2008 to 2017 (August) with emphasis on the efficacy of praziquantel on S. haematobium and S. mansoni infections among preschool and school children. Nineteen publications satisfied the inclusion criteria for the review. The studies reviewed were from 10 sub-Saharan African countries and 7/19 of the studies (37%) were conducted in Uganda. Seven studies (37%) focused on Schistosoma mansoni, 6/19 (31.5%) on S. haematobium and another 6 on mixed infection. A single standard dose of 40 mg/kg body weight was the most used regimen (9) followed by the repeated single standard dose assessed for efficacy at 3-4 weeks post-treatment.
A repeated standard dose of 40 mg/kg achieved satisfactory efficacy compared to a single dose against both parasite species. However, findings on efficacy of repeated doses in co-infection of S. mansoni and S. haematobium were not conclusive. Praziquantel administrated at 60 mg/kg was slightly more efficacious than the 40 mg/kg standard dose. Minor and transitory side-effects were reported for both regimens. The review indicates that further investigations are necessary to conclusively determine efficacy of praziquantel on coinfection of S. haematobium and S. mansoni to formulate concrete guidelines on the use of repeated doses at 40 or 60 mg/kg for treating schistosomiasis. We recommend the use of the egg reduction rate (ERR) formula recommended by the WHO for assessing praziquantel efficacy in order for the results to be comparable for different regions.