J. Utzinger, P. Vounatsou, E.K. N'Goran, M. Tanner & M. Booth (2002). Reduction in the prevalence and intensity of hookworm infections after praziquantel treatment for schistosomiasis infection. International Journal for Parasitology 32
Author(s) from Durham
Praziquantel exhibits activity against all major human schistosome parasites and has become the cornerstone for treatment and morbidity control of schistosomiasis. Praziquantel is also active against a wide range of trematodes, human and veterinary cestodes and displays cysticidal effects. To the best of our knowledge anthelminthic properties have never been documented. Here, we report a study among 96 schoolchildren from an area highly endemic for Schistosoma mansoni and hookworm infection, and place particular emphasis on the effect of praziquantel on the prevalence and intensity of hookworm infections. Stool specimens were screened over several consecutive days prior and 4 weeks after systematic administration of praziquantel. We found a significant reduction in the prevalence of hookworm infection from 75.0 to 40.6% (odds ratio (OR)=0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.11-0.40). Infection intensities, expressed by geometric mean egg counts of all children, were also reduced significantly from 10.7 to 2.0 eggs per gram stool (paired t-test=7.78, P<0.001). If these findings are confirmed in other epidemiological settings - following a similarly sensitive diagnostic approach - they might become of considerable relevance. In areas where both schistosome and hookworm coexist, and praziquantel is being recommended for schistosomiasis control, large-scale application of this drug might also reduce the burden of hookworms.