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Efficacy and Safety of Arachidonic Acid for Treatment of Schistosoma mansoni-Infected Children in Menoufiya, Egypt

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  • Department of Parasitology, National Liver Institute, Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, Menoufiya, Egypt; Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; Tropical Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt; Human Evidence Department, DSM North America, Columbia, Maryland; Research and Development Department, DSM Biotechnology Center, Delft, The Netherlands

Arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid, kills juvenile and adult schistosomes in vitro and displays highly significant and safe therapeutic effects in mice and hamsters infected with Schistosoma mansoni or S. haematobium. This study aims to examine the efficacy and safety of ARA in treatment of school-age children infected with S. mansoni. In total, 66 S. mansoni-infected schoolchildren (20–23 children/study arm) received a single dose of 40 mg/kg praziquantel (PZQ), ARA (10 mg/kg per day for 15 days), or PZQ combined with ARA. The children were examined before and after treatment for worm egg counts in stool and blood biochemical and immunological parameters. ARA proved to be as efficacious as PZQ in treatment of schoolchildren with low infection intensity (78% and 85% cure rates, respectively). For moderate-intensity infection, the ARA and PZQ combination led to 100% cure rate. Biochemical, hematological, and immunological parameters were either unchanged or ameliorated after ARA therapy.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Rashika El Ridi, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo 12613, Egypt. E-mail: rashika@mailer.eun.eg† Deceased.

Financial support: Funding was provided by DSM North America.

Authors' addresses: Sahar Selim, Parasitology Department, National Liver Institute, Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, Menoufiya, Egypt, E-mail: saharselim@yahoo.com. Ola El Sagheer, Azza El Amir, and Rashika El Ridi, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, E-mails: ola_immu@yahoo.com, azzaelamir@yahoo.com, and rashika@mailer.eun.eg. Rashida Barakat, Tropical Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, E-mail: rashidabarakat@yahoo.com. Kevin Hadley, Human Evidence Department, DSM North America, Columbia, MD, E-mail: kevin.hadley@DSM.com. Maaike J. Bruins, Research and Development Department, DSM Biotechnology Center, Delft, The Netherlands, E-mail: maaike.bruins@DSM.com.

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