The study shows the safety of delivering three drugs simultaneously – ivermectin, albendazole and praziquantel – in order to tackle three diseases, elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), soil-transmitted worms (helminths), and schistosomiasis. Public health interventions based on distribution of these drugs have generally been implemented using one drug at a time. But a coordinated approach could prove to be much more resource- and cost-effective.
“Only through integration will we reduce distribution costs, make the best use of our available human resources and increase community participation and compliance, without any added risk to the population,” said study author Khalfan A. Mohammed, Manager of the new Zanzibar Integrated Helminth Control Programme of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The study, initiated by the WHO in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre, examined the possible side-effects of a triple-drug administration in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania, where several previous treatment rounds with one or two drugs had already taken place.
First, a total of 5055 Zanzibari children and adults living in areas endemic for lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), and schistosomiasis were enrolled in a pilot study. After finding there were no severe adverse events associated with the combined triple-therapy treatment, the researchers scaled up the intervention to make it country wide, treating the entire eligible population of over 700,000 individuals.
Surveillance carried out during both intervention periods showed that the side-effects attributable to the co-delivery of the three drugs were mild and required no medical attention. The data suggest that co-administration of the three drugs is safe in areas where LF, STH and schistosomiasis are co-endemic and populations have received repeated treatments previously.
Although WHO has long recommended the coordinated delivery of drugs to tackle neglected tropical diseases, the maximum number of drugs for simultaneous delivery was limited to two for safety reasons. If the safety of the co-administration of three drugs is confirmed by further studies, WHO is likely to include triple drug administration in its guidelines where appropriate.
“These infections compromise the lives of millions of people,” said Dr Lorenzo Savioli, co-author of the study and Director of the WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “This study is a welcome new addition to our existing arsenal of robust, low-cost and effective interventions.”
Professor David H. Molyneux of the Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, another co-author of the study, said: “The study shows that we can now offer the appropriate combination of drugs for each combination of helminthic diseases. It also shows the real advantage of working in partnership to generate practical results on the ground.”
The Honourable Sultan M. Mugheiry, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Zanzibar, who was not a study author, commented: “Zanzibar has been on the frontline of the fight against schistosomiasis, STH and lymphatic filariasis in Africa. We hope these results will help our country but also simplify the treatment for millions of other infected individuals in the poorest parts of the developing world.”
Andrew Hyde | alfa
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Information Technology
18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation