Department of Preventive Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Willowbrook State School, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research, New York City
The efficacy of thiabendazole against Strongyloides and Enterobius infections in man was confirmed in the present study.
Thiabendazole was administered in single or multiple doses to more than 1000 mentally retarded children amongst whom there was an incidence of infection with Strongyloides of from 9 to 24% (mean 13%) and an incidence of pinworm infection of from 31 to 78% (mean 56%).
In both infections, dosages of 25 mg/kg twice daily for two days, or 50 mg/kg in a single dose on each of two days, gave satisfactory results. Cure rates approaching 100% were observed following treatment of Strongyloides and Enterobius infections with these dosages of thiabendazole. The simultaneous treatment of 200 or more patients, amongst whom infections were frequent and intense, in a single heavily contaminated building was found feasible and effective.
Vomiting was observed in 7% of the children who received thiabendazole and in 16% of the children who received pyrvinium pamoate. The wards housing thiabendazole-treated children seemed “quieter” during the period of therapy. No other side reactions were observed, but it should be emphasized that a mentally retarded population is not suitable for clinical evaluation of subjective side effects. No toxicity was noted in limited hematological and biochemical observations.
On the basis of the present study, one can conclude that thiabendazole is highly effective in curing Strongyloides and Enterobius infections despite their occurrence in a highly contaminative environment.