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BACKGROUND: Single-dose albendazole and mebendazole show limited efficacy in the treatment of trichuriasis. The combination of albendazole with ivermectin improves efficacy, but a mebendazole-ivermectin combination has not been previously investigated. METHODS: We performed a randomized controlled trial in 2 schools in Zanzibar, Tanzania, to assess the efficacy and safety of albendazole (400 mg) plus placebo, albendazole plus ivermectin (200 μg/kg), mebendazole (500 mg) plus placebo, and mebendazole plus ivermectin in children with a parasitologically confirmed Trichuris trichiura infection. Cure rate (CR) and egg reduction rate were assessed by intent-to-treat analysis. Adverse events were monitored within 48 h after treatment. RESULTS: Complete data records were available for 548 children. The highest CR against T. trichiura was achieved with a mebendazole-ivermectin combination (55%). Low CRs were observed with albendazole-ivermectin (38%), mebendazole (19%), and albendazole (10%). Compared with placebo, the use of ivermectin statistically significantly increased the CRs from 14% to 47% (odds ratio, 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.28). The highest egg reduction rate (97%; 95% CI, 95%-98%) was observed using the mebendazole-ivermectin combination, followed by albendazole-ivermectin (91%; 95% CI, 87%-94%), mebendazole (67%; 95% CI, 52%-77%), and albendazole (40%; 95% CI, 22%-56%). The adverse events, reported by 136 children, were generally mild, with no significant difference between the treatment arms. CONCLUSIONS: Addition of ivermectin improves the therapeutic outcomes of both albendazole and mebendazole against T. trichiura and may be considered for use in soil-transmitted helminth control programs and individual patient management. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: ISRCTN08336605.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin infect dis

Publication Date





1420 - 1428


Adolescent, Albendazole, Animals, Anthelmintics, Child, Drug Therapy, Combination, Feces, Female, Humans, Ivermectin, Male, Mebendazole, Parasite Egg Count, Placebos, Tanzania, Treatment Outcome, Trichuriasis, Trichuris