Treatment of Hookworm Infection in Egypt with Bephenium Hydroxynaphthoate and the Relationship between Iron Deficiency Anemia and Intensity of Infection

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  • Medical Department, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt

Summary

Sixty-three adult patients with Ancylostoma duodenale infection were treated with a single 2.5-gram dose of bephenium hydroxynaphthoate base (Alcopar®).

Forty-six (73%) were cured and there occurred a significant reduction in the egg counts of the remaining 17 patients.

Bephenium hydroxynaphthoate was given to 17 patients with hemoglobin levels under 8.0 g per 100 ml without any untoward reactions. Vomiting was the only side-effect noted, and occurred in 5 of 63 patients treated.

Stoll's dilution egg-count technique was found to be a satisfactory method for estimating the adult female worm load. Approximately 45 ova per gram of feces represented one female A. duodenale.

Forty of 49 patients studied hematologically were anemic and the degree of anemia corresponded to the intensity of hookworm infection. A statistically significant correlation was found between total hookworm numbers and degree of anemia as represented by the hemoglobin values.

The anemia in these patients was hypochromic microcytic type and was associated with low serum iron and elevated serum iron binding capacity. It responded rapidly to oral ferrous sulphate treatment.

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