Summary A longitudinal community-trial on the control of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), as part of a lymphatic filariasis elimination campaign, was taken up in two revenue blocks of southern India in the years 2001 and 2002 to assess the impact of two annual single-dose mass drug administration (MDA) of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) + albendazole (ALB) with that of DEC alone. The prevalences and intensities of STHs were studied among cross-sectional samples of school children aged 9–10 years by using the Kato-Katz technique at baseline and 11 months after each MDA. The combined drug mass treatment produced a higher reduction in the prevalence (RIP) (51–77%) and the egg reduction rate (ERR) (92–98%) compared with 12–15% RIP and 58–62% ERR of DEC alone mass treatment. The effect of two-drug therapy after two annual treatments was relatively long lasting as shown by RIP and ERR indicating that the reinfection rates were relatively lower in this approach than single-drug therapy. This study demonstrates that mass drug co-administration of DEC + ALB in Global Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) targeted at the community had a synergistic and sustainable effect against soil-transmitted helminthiasis and provided considerable ‘beyond filariasis’ benefits. The additional advantages accrued to the community underscore the importance of scaling-up GPELF to cover the entire population at risk.