Volume 96, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Mass drug administration (MDA) targeting school-age children is recommended by the World Health Organization for the global control of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. Although considered safe and cost-effective to deliver, benzimidazole anthelminthics are variably effective against the three most common STHs, and widespread use has raised concern about the potential for emerging resistance. To identify factors mediating response to albendazole, we conducted a cross-sectional study of hookworm infection in the Kintampo North Municipality of Ghana in 2011. Among 140 school-age children residing in five contiguous communities, the hookworm prevalence was 59% (82/140). The overall cure rate following administration of single-dose albendazole (400 mg) was 35% (27/76), with a community-wide fecal egg reduction rate (ERR) of 61% (95% confidence interval: 51.8–71.1). Significant disparities were observed in albendazole effectiveness by community, with a cure rate as low as 0% ( = 24) in Jato Akuraa and ERRs ranging from 53% to 95% across the five study sites. Individual host factors associated with response to deworming treatment included time since last meal, pretreatment blood hemoglobin level, and mid-upper arm circumference. These data demonstrate significant community-level variation in the effectiveness of albendazole, even among populations living in close proximity. Identification of host factors that influence response to albendazole, most notably the timing of drug administration and nutritional factors, creates an opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of deworming through targeted interventions. These findings also demonstrate the importance of measuring anthelminthic response as part of the monitoring and evaluation of community-based deworming programs.


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  • Received : 21 Aug 2016
  • Accepted : 23 Oct 2016

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