1 Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases and Epidemic Intelligence Service, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, USA.
This randomized, placebo-controlled trial investigated the efficacy and nutritional benefit of combining chemotherapeutic treatment for intestinal helminths (albendazole) and lymphatic filariasis (ivermectin). Children were infected with Ascaris (29.2%), Trichuris (42.2%), and hookworm (6.9%), with 54.7% of children having one or more of these parasites. Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaria were found in 13.3% of the children. Children were randomly assigned to treatment with placebo, albendazole, ivermectin, or combined therapy. Combination treatment reduced the prevalence of Trichuris infections significantly more than either drug alone. Combination therapy also significantly reduced the prevalence and density of W. bancrofti microfilaremia compared with placebo or ivermectin alone. Only combination therapy resulted in significantly greater gains in height (hookworm-infected children) or weight (Trichuris-infected children) compared with the placebo group. Combined albendazole and ivermectin was a more efficacious treatment for intestinal helminth and W. bancrofti infections in children and resulted in nutritional benefits not found with either drug alone.