Efficacy and side effects of praziquantel treatment against Schistosoma haematobium infection among primary school children in Zimbabwe

N. Midzi, D. Sangweme, S. Zinyowera, M. P. Mapingure, K. C. Brouwer, N. Kumar, F. Mutapi, G. Woelk, T. Mduluza

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We examined the efficacy of praziquantel against Schistosoma haematobium among primary school children during a school-based deworming programme in the Burma Valley commercial farming area and the Nyamaropa rural areas in Zimbabwe, where the disease is highly endemic. Among 767 individuals infected with S. haematobium, 675 (88.0%) received treatment. Two single oral doses of 40mg/kg praziquantel were given 6 weeks apart. Of the 675 participants, heavy infection intensity was more common in mates than females (chi(2) = 6.61, P=0.010). Six weeks later, 624 participants (92.4%) were successfully followed up. The overall cure rate was 88.5% and the egg reduction rate was 98.2%. The highest cure rate was among those individuals with light infection. Seventy-two individuals remained infected at 6 weeks post treatment, among which 3 and 69 individuals had heavy and tight infection, respectively. Forty-six of these children resolved following a second round of treatment at 6 weeks follow-up. Of the remaining children successfully followed-up, 22 resolved after a third round of treatment 6 months later. A wide range of observed mild and transient side effects were not associated with egg intensity. The parasitological cure rate was not associated with gender or age. Our study demonstrates that praziquantel is efficacious against S. haematobium in Zimbabwe, although low levels of persistent infection warrant further investigation. (c) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-766
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

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