Efficacy of praziquantel has been maintained over four decades (from 1977 to 2018): A systematic review and meta-analysis of factors influence its efficacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The antihelminthic drug praziquantel has been used as the drug of choice for treating schistosome infection for more than 40 years. Although some epidemiological studies have reported low praziquantel efficacy in cure rate (CR) and/or egg reduction rate (ERR), there is no consistent robust evidence of the development of schistosome resistance to praziquantel (PZQ). There is need to determine factors that lead to variable treatment CR and/or ERR. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to review CR and ERR as well as identify their predictors.

Methodology/Principal findings
In this systematic review and meta-analysis, a literature review was conducted using Biosis Citation Index, Data Citation Index, MEDLINE, and Web of Science Core Collection all of which were provided through Web of Science. Alongside these, EMBASE, and CAB abstracts were searched to identify relevant articles. Random effect meta-regression models were used to identify the factors that influence CR and/or ERR by considering differences in host characteristics and drug dose. In total, 12,127 potential articles were screened and 146 eligible articles (published from 1979 to 2020) were identified and included for the meta-analysis. We found that there has been no significant reduction in CR or ERR over the study period. The results showed more variability in CR, compared with ERR which was more consistent and remained high. The results showed a positive effect of “PZQ treatment dose” with the current recommended dose of 40 mg/kg body weight achieving 57% to 88% CR depending on schistosome species, age of participants, and number of parasitological samples used for diagnosis, and ERR of 95%.

Based on a review of over 40 years of research there is no evidence to support concerns about schistosomes developing resistance to PZQ. These results indicate that PZQ remains effective in treating schistosomiasis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009189
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • schistosomiasis
  • human population
  • praziquantel
  • treatment efficacy
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis


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