Department of Parasitology, University of Leiden, Region Medicale de St. Louis, Department de Parasitologie, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Leiden, The Netherlands
A therapeutic trial, involving 130 Schistosoma mansoni—infected children, with no previous history of antischistosomal treatment, was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of two different dose regimens of praziquantel. The study was carried out because low cure rates were described in this recently established (1990) S. mansoni focus in northern Senegal, following treatment with a standard dosage of 40 mg/kg. The subjects were randomly allocated into two groups: one group (1) received 40 mg/kg in one oral dose, the other group (2) was treated with two oral doses of 30 mg/kg at a 6-hr interval. Parasitologic examination and circulating anodic antigen (CAA) detection were performed before, 10 days, three, six, and 21 weeks after chemotherapy. No significant differences in cure rates were found between the two groups. Six weeks after treatment, 34% and 44% of the individuals were found to be stool negative in group 1 and group 2, respectively. However, only 10–15% became completely negative according to the serum CAA antigen assay. Mean egg counts were reduced by 99% in both groups. Antigen detection confirmed the parasitologic results. Fewer side effects were observed in the group treated with 2 × 30 mg/kg, which may be explained by split dosage administration. Our study shows that the low cure rates observed in this area could not be improved by using a higher dosage of praziquantel.