Mass drug administration for control of parasitic infections
- Rojelio Mejia, MD
Rojelio Mejia, MD
- Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases and Pediatrics
- National School of Tropical Medicine
- Baylor College of Medicine
Empiric deworming refers to use of anthelmintic drugs to reduce the prevalence of infection due to soil-transmitted helminths in endemic areas. Such reductions in prevalence are generally temporary; mass drug administration interrupts parasite life cycles but does not halt them completely, and the risk for reinfection is high [1,2].
Areas with high prevalence of helminth infection require a number of public health measures beyond preventive treatment, including safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and health education .
Issues related to population deworming are discussed here; issues related to the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of individual parasitic infections are discussed separately. (See related topics.)
Infection due to soil-transmitted helminths has been associated with morbidity including delays in growth and cognitive development, particularly among children 2 to 12 years of age [1,4-6]. Population deworming may be effective in reducing the prevalence of infection ; the degree of benefit depends on patient characteristics, regional parasite species, and burden of infection.
The data on efficacy for population deworming is mixed; overall, the evidence demonstrates that children with helminth infections have diminished growth rates compared with uninfected children and that population deworming can help mitigate this issue [8-12]. The greatest benefit of deworming appears to be among young children who undergo screening prior to treatment .To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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