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Effect of repeated mass chemotherapy for filariasis control on soil-transmitted helminth infections in Sri Lanka

Authors:

NK Gunawardena ,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka, LK
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NDDM Amarasekera,

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka, LK
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A Pathmeswaran,

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka, LK
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NR de Silva

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Background In July 2006 Sri Lanka completed 5 rounds of annual mass drug administration (MDA) with diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and albendazole as part of its national programme for elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF). Albendazole is highly effective against soiltransmitted helminths (STH). This study was carried out to assess the effect of repeated annual MDA on STH infections in the Western Province of Sri Lanka, an area co-endemic for LF and STH.

 Methods Faecal samples were obtained (during August - September 2006), from grade 5 students in 17 schools in the Western Province that were included in a national survey of schoolchildren's health in 2003, and examined using the modified Kato-Katz technique. The prevalence and intensity of roundworm, whipworm and hookworm infections in 2003 and 2006 were compared.

Results Faecal samples from 255 children were examined in 2003; 448 were examined in 2006. Roundworm prevalence was marginally lower in 2006 (4.0%) than in 2003 (4.7%), as was hookworm (0.2% vs 0.4%), whereas whipworm prevalence was higher (13.8% vs 9.4%). These differences as well as that between the geometric mean egg counts were not statistically significant. Compliance with MDA in 2006, as reported by the schoolchildren examined, was only 59%.

Conclusions Four annual rounds of MDA with DEC and albendazole had virtually no effect on STH infections in the study area.  

Key words: Anthelmintics, lymphatic filariasis, ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm infection

doi:10.4038/cmj.v53i1.220

Ceylon Medical Journal Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2008 pp. 13-16

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i1.220
How to Cite: Gunawardena, N., Amarasekera, N., Pathmeswaran, A. and de Silva, N., 2008. Effect of repeated mass chemotherapy for filariasis control on soil-transmitted helminth infections in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Medical Journal, 53(1), pp.13–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i1.220
Published on 09 Dec 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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