Journal Article

Use of High-Dose, Twice-Yearly Albendazole and Ivermectin to Suppress <i>Wuchereria bancrofti</i> Microfilarial Levels

Benoit Dembele, Yaya I. Coulibaly, Housseini Dolo, Siaka Konate, Siaka Y. Coulibaly, Dramane Sanogo, Lamine Soumaoro, Michel E. Coulibaly, Salif Seriba Doumbia, Abdallah A. Diallo, Sekou F. Traore, Adama Diaman Keita, Michael P. Fay, Thomas B. Nutman and Amy D. Klion

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 11, pages 1229-1235
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Use of High-Dose, Twice-Yearly Albendazole and Ivermectin to Suppress Wuchereria bancrofti Microfilarial Levels

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Background. Annual mass treatment with albendazole and ivermectin is the mainstay of current strategies to interrupt transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti in Africa. More-effective microfilarial suppression could potentially reduce the time necessary to interrupt transmission, easing the economic burden of mass treatment programs in countries with limited resources.

Methods. To determine the effect of increased dose and frequency of albendazole-ivermectin treatment on microfilarial clearance, 51 W. bancrofti microfilaremic residents of an area of W. bancrofti endemicity in Mali were randomized to receive 2 doses of annual, standard-dose albendazole-ivermectin therapy (400 mg and 150 µg/kg; n = 26) or 4 doses of twice-yearly, increased-dose albendazole-ivermectin therapy (800 mg and 400 µg/kg; n = 25).

Results. Although microfilarial levels decreased significantly after therapy in both groups, levels were significantly lower in the high-dose, twice-yearly group at 12, 18, and 24 months. Furthermore, there was complete clearance of detectable microfilariae at 12 months in the 19 patients in the twice-yearly therapy group with data available at 12 months, compared with 9 of 21 patients in the annual therapy group (P<.001 , by Fisher's exact test). This difference between the 2 groups was sustained at 18 and 24 months, with no detectable microfilariae in the patients receiving twice-yearly treatment. Worm nests detectable by ultrasonography and W. bancrofti circulating antigen levels, as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, were decreased to the same degree in both groups at 24 months, compared with baseline.

Conclusions. These findings suggest that increasing the dosage and frequency of albendazole-ivermectin treatment enhances suppression of microfilariae but that this effect may not be attributable to improved adulticidal activity.

Journal Article.  3460 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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