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Free Content Impact of repeated mass treatment on human Oesophagostomum and hookworm infections in northern Ghana

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Oesophagostomum bifurcum is a common parasite of humans causing disease in parts of northern Ghana and northern Togo. The impact of repeated mass treatment with albendazole on infection with O. bifurcum and hookworm is analysed and the results compared with those in a control area where no treatment was given. At baseline, O. bifurcum and hookworm prevalences were 53.0% and 86.9%, respectively (n = 1011). After 12 months, following two rounds of albendazole treatment, prevalences decreased significantly to 5.4% for O. bifurcum and 36.8% for hookworm (n = 535). Twenty-four months after the baseline survey and following a total of four rounds of treatment, prevalences were further reduced to 0.8% and 23.4% for O. bifurcum and hookworm, respectively (n = 478). Overall, there was a significant decrease in the larval counts, measured as geometric mean larval count per 4 g of stool of O. bifurcum from 3.0 to 0.1 and of hookworm from 47.2 to 1.8. The fourth mass treatment was carried out in April 2003 by the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme. Overall, compliance to treatment varied from 70% to 80%. In the control area, Oesophagostomum prevalence increased from 18.5% to 37.0% and the intensity from 0.4 to 1.4. For hookworm, both prevalence (86.1–91.3%) and intensity (54.8–74.3) increased but not to a significant level. The prospects of eliminating human oesophagostomiasis from the intervention area, while simultaneously achieving an important reduction of hookworm prevalences by albendazole mass treatment, are discussed.

Keywords: Ghana; Oesophagostomum bifurcum; control; hookworm; mass treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  DBL-Institute for Health Research and Development, Charlottenlund, Denmark 2:  Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Liverpool University, Liverpool, UK 3:  Parasitic Diseases Research Centre, Ghana Health Service, Tamale, Ghana 4:  Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

Publication date: November 1, 2006


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