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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


BELTRAMINO, Daniel; LURA, María Cristina  and  CARRERA, Elena. Selective vs. mass treatment with antihelminthic drugs: experience in two hyperendemic communities. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.13, n.1, pp.10-18. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted nematode infection among children from two hyperendemic communities who were treated with antihelminthic drugs under two different regimens: selective or individual treatment was administered to members of one of the communities, and repeated mass treatment was given to the control community. METHODS: The study population was comprised of 909 children of both sexes between the ages of 2 and 13 from two peri-urban communities: Las Lomas and El Abastos, both in Santa Fe, Argentina. A prospective, longitudinal, quasi-experimental study was carried out in these communities. During the 22-month study period, 5 parasitologic controls were performed and results were qualitatively and quantitatively examined. Treatment with antihelminthic drugs was given at controls 0, 2, 3, and 4. At Las Lomas, selective treatment was administered to those in sample A (n = 55) who were positive for parasites; in El Abasto, mass treatment was given to all children, including those in sample B (n = 50). Both samples received follow-up. RESULTS: The prevalence and intensity of A. lumbricoides infections were found to be significant in El Abasto. No differences were detected in the case of T. trichiura. When prevalence and parasitic burden of A. lumbricoides were compared among controls within a single community (at the beginning and end of the study), no significant differences were observed in sample A, but a significant difference was seen in sample B. Insofar as T. trichiura is concerned, there were significant differences among controls in both samples. CONCLUSIONS: Only repeated and massive treatment significantly lowered the prevalence and intensity of A. lumbricoides infections during the study period.

Keywords : Geohelmintiasis; tratamiento antihelmíntico masivo.

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