Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programs to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in western Africa use the anthelminthics ivermectin plus albendazole. These drugs have the potential to impact also Soil-Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections, since the drugs have a broad range of anthelminthic activity. Integration of preventive chemotherapy efforts for LF, onchocerciasis and STH is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to avoid duplication of MDA and to reduce costs. The objective of the current study was to determine whether five semi-annual rounds of community-wide MDA to eliminate LF and onchocerciasis have a greater impact on STH than three annual rounds of MDA with similar compliance. The effects of MDA using ivermectin (IVM, 0.2 mg/kg) combined with albendazole (ALB, 400 mg) on the prevalence and intensity of hookworm infection were evaluated in the Abengourou (annual MDA) and Akoupé (semi-annual MDA) health Districts in eastern Côte d’Ivoire from 2014 to 2017. A cross-sectional approach was used together with mixed logistic regression, and mixed linear models. Subjects were tested for STH using the KatoKatz technique before the first round of MDA and 12, 24, and 36 months after the first round of MDA. The mean self-reported MDA compliance assessed during the survey was 65%, and no difference was observed between treatment areas. These results were confirmed by an independent coverage survey as recommended by WHO. Hookworm was the most prevalent STH species in both areas (23.9% vs 12.4%) and the prevalence of other STH species was less than 1%. The crude prevalence of hookworm dropped significantly, from 23.9% to 5.5% (p <0.001, 77% reduction) in the annual MDA treatment area and from 12.4% to 1.9% (p <0.001, 85% reduction) in the semi-annual treatment area. The average intensity of hookworm infection decreased in the annual MDA area (406.2 epg to 118.3 epg), but not in the semi-annual MDA area (804.9 epg to 875.0 epg). Moderate and heavy infections (1% and 1.3% at baseline) were reduced to 0% and 0.4% in the annual and semi-annual treatment areas, respectively. Using a mixed logistic regression model, and after adjusting for baseline prevalence, only the year 2 re-examination showed a difference in prevalence between treatments (OR: 2.26 [95% CI: 1.03, 4.98], p = 0.043). Analysis of intensity of hookworm infection indicated also that treatment differences varied by follow-up visit. In conclusion twelve months after the last treatment cycle, three annual and five semi-annual rounds of community-wide MDA with the combination of IVM and ALB showed strong, but similar impact on hookworm prevalence and intensity in eastern Côte d’Ivoire. Therefore, an annual MDA regimen seems to be an efficient strategy to control hookworm infection in endemic areas with low and moderate infection prevalence.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0008642
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


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