A comparison of mebendazole and albendazole in treating children with Trichuris trichiura infection in Durban, South Africa

T F Jackson, S R Epstein, E Gouws, R F Cheetham
South African Medical Journal 1998, 88 (7): 880-3

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of mebendazole 500 mg and albendazole 400 mg single-dose treatments of Trichuris trichiura infection in children in the Durban area of KwaZuluNatal, South Africa.

DESIGN: A single-blind randomised trial in children with a documented moderate infection of T. trichiura. Ova were counted in stool specimens before and 10 days after treatment by the formal-ether concentration method.

SETTING: Two shelters for abandoned and orphaned children in Durban.

PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-six children aged between 2 and 12 years.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The number of children who showed reduced T. trichiura ova counts after the treatments, and reductions in ova counts, both expressed as percentages. Statistical analysis using the Wilcoxon 2-sample test and the chi-square test.

RESULTS: Eighty-two children completed the trial; 42 received mebendazole and 40 albendazole. Of the mebendazole group 85% showed a reduction in T. trichiura ova count, compared with 75% of children who received albendazole. Mebendazole treatment was associated with a median percentage reduction in ova count of 72.2%, which significantly exceeded the 44.1% reduction after albendazole (P = 0.024).

CONCLUSION: The mebendazole 500 mg single-dose therapy was more efficacious than the albendazole 400 mg single-dose therapy in treating T. trichiura infection in these children.

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