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Free Content Albendazole for the control and elimination of lymphatic filariasis: systematic review

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Summary Objectives 

The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis recommends albendazole in combination with other antifilarial drugs. This systematic review examines albendazole in treatment and control of lymphatic filariasis. Datasources 

The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE and EMBASE to April 2005; contacting experts, international organisations and drug manufacturers. Methods 

Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials included; two reviewers independently assessed eligibility, quality, and extracted data. We calculated the relative risk of microfilaraemia (mf) prevalence using fixed effect, or random effects model in case of heterogeneity. Results 

Six trials met inclusion criteria. Three trials compared albendazole with placebo: no effect was demonstrated on mf prevalence, but density was lower in one of the three studies at 6 months. Three trials added albendazole to ivermectin, with no demonstrable effect; prevalence tended to be lower at 4–6 months but not at 12 months (4–6 months; RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.18 to 1.39, n = 255, 2 trials; 12 months: RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.13, n = 348, 2 trials). Mf density was significantly lower in two of the three trials; one of two trials measuring density at 12 months showed a difference. Three trials added albendazole to diethylcarbamazine; two were small trials with no difference demonstrated; the third study tended to favour combination at 6 months (RR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.32 to 1.21, n = 491), with a significant difference for density. Conclusions 

The effect of albendazole against adult and larval filarial parasites, alone and in combination with other antifilarial drugs, deserves further rigorous research.

Keywords: albendazole; lymphatic filariasis; mass drug administration; systematic review

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK 2: Division of Parasitic Diseases, CDC, Atlanta, US (GA), USA 3: Ophthalmologist, Kaduna, Nigeria 4: Centre for Medical Statistics and Health Evaluation, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK 5: MHS Consultant, Takoma Park (MD), USA

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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