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Efficacy and Safety of Nitazoxanide, Albendazole, and Nitazoxanide-Albendazole against Trichuris trichiura Infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial

By Benjamin Speich, Shaali M. Ame, Said M. Ali, Rainer Alles, Jan Hattendorf, Jürg Utzinger, Marco Albonico and Jennifer Keiser


More than 5 billion people are at risk of infection with one of the three most common intestinal worms, the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides, the whipworm Trichuris trichiura, and two different kinds of hookworms. The global strategy to control these intestinal worm infections is through the regular administration of deworming drugs to school-aged children (albendazole, 400 mg; mebendazole, 500 mg). However, especially against T. trichiura, a low treatment response is observed with single doses of both drugs. We tested the antiprotozoal drug nitazoxanide, which had shown promising trichuricidal properties in in vitro experiments. A randomized controlled trial was carried out on the island of Pemba in Tanzania. Four treatment arms were included: (i) single albendazole (400 mg), (ii) single nitazoxanide (1,000 mg), (iii) nitazoxanide-albendazole combination (1,000 mg–400 mg) with each drug given separately on two consecutive days, and (iv) placebo. Children were asked for adverse events at several time points after treatment. Nitazoxanide showed no ability to cure T. trichiura-infected children and caused significantly more mild adverse events than placebo. Albendazole and the nitazoxanide-albendazole combination showed only a minimal effect against T. trichiura. Our results emphasize the urgent need to develop new, safe, and effective anthelmintic drugs against T. trichiura

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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