Albendazole cuts enteric parasite prevalence in refugees

Albendazole cuts enteric parasite prevalence in refugees

(HealthDay) -- The administration of a single 600-mg dose of albendazole to United States-bound refugees prior to departure from Africa and Southeast Asia reduces the prevalence of intestinal nematodes, according to a study published in the April 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Stephen J. Swanson, M.D., of the Epidemic Intelligence Service in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a of 26,956 refugees from Africa and Southeast Asia. The refugees underwent stool specimen screening for intestinal parasites. The prevalence of intestinal nematodes, schistosoma species, giardia, and entamoeba was compared among refugees who migrated before and after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation of presumptive predeparture albendazole treatment.

A total of 22,586 refugees received albendazole and 4,370 did not. The researchers found that 20.8 percent of untreated refugees versus 4.7 percent of treated refugees carried one or more stool nematodes. The most common parasite in untreated refugees was , and in treated refugees was trichuris. In an age-, sex-, and region-adjusted analysis, compared with untreated refugees, albendazole-treated refugees were significantly less likely to have any nematodes, ascaris, hookworm, or trichuris, but were no less likely to have giardia or entamoeba. No albendazole-related were reported.

"These data provide evidence that implementation of an overseas protocol for presumptive single-dose albendazole therapy in refugees was associated with substantial decreases in infections with multiple intestinal parasites," the authors write. "Targeting these diseases among refugees has yielded reductions in parasite burdens and may improve the health of this population."

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Schooling protects fleeing children from disease

Feb 03, 2012

Refugee children have scant access to medical care and are particularly vulnerable to disease. Fresh research results from the University of Copenhagen show that just a few hours of schooling a week may have a pronounced ...

Recommended for you

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

3 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

3 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

Possible risk of folic acid overexposure

4 hours ago

A new study has shown that synthetic folic acid, the form taken in folic acid supplements we can buy over the counter, is not processed by the body in the same way as natural folates, the form found in green vegetables.

Is coffee aggravating your hot flashes?

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Drinking caffeine may worsen the hot flashes and night sweats that affect roughly two-thirds of women as they go through menopause, new survey data suggests.

User comments