/ Forschung

Clinical trial: Promising drug combination treatment against parasitic worm infections

Blood sample collection in Côte d'Ivoire.

Blood sample collection in Côte d'Ivoire. (Photo: Eveline Hürlimann, Swiss TPH)

In a Phase III clinical trial, researchers at Swiss TPH have successfully gathered encouraging data to demonstrate higher efficacy of co-administration of ivermectin-albendazole in combating soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The findings were published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal.

Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) affect one in five people in the world causing numerous health problems, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood and protein loss and both physical and cognitive growth retardation. STH infections are caused by the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides, two hookworm species and the whipworm Trichuris trichiura.  Only very few drugs are registered for treatment and control of STH infections in humans, all of which have limitations.

The combination of ivermectin and albendazole has been identified as a priority to be tested as a potential improved deworming therapy. Swiss TPH conducted the first multi-country randomized controlled clinical trial to generate robust evidence from a broader age range and distinct epidemiological settings on the superiority of co-administered ivermectin-albendazole over the current standard treatment (albendazole monotherapy). The trial involved community members aged 6-60 years from Côte d’Ivoire, Laos and Pemba Island, Tanzania, infected with Trichuris trichiura.