BACKGROUND: School-based deworming is widely implemented in various countries to reduce the burden of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), however, the frequency of drug administration varies in different settings. In this study, we compared the impact of a single annual treatment and 4-monthly treatment over a follow-up among Kenyan school children, and investigated the factors associated with residual infection. METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis of data from a randomized trial investigating whether deworming for STHs alters risk of acquiring malaria. Children received either a single treatment or 4-monthly albendazole treatments were followed longitudinally from February 2014 to October 2014. The relative impact of treatment and factors associated with residual infections were investigated using mixed-effects regression models. Predisposition to infection was assessed based on Spearman’s rank and Kendall’s Tau correlation coefficients. RESULTS: In the 4-monthly treatment group, the proportion of children infected with hookworm decreased from 59.9 to 5.7%, while Ascaris lumbricoides infections dropped from 55.7 to 6.2%. In the single treatment group, hookworm infections decreased over the same time period from 58.7 to 18.3% (12.6% absolute difference in reduction, 95% CI: 8.9-16.3%), and A. lumbricoides from 56.7 to 23.3% (17.1% absolute difference in reduction, 95% CI: 13.1-21.1%). There was strong evidence for predisposition to both STH types. Residual hookworm infection among children on 4-monthly treatment were associated with male sex and baseline nutritional status, whereas A. lumbricoides infection was associated with individual and school-level infection at baseline, latrine cleanliness at schools. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that 4-monthly treatment w more effective than single annual treatment. Repeated treatments led to dramatic reductions in the intensities of STHs, but did not completely clear infections among school children in Kenya, a presumed reflection of reinfection in a setting where there is ongoing transmission.
Kepha, S., Mwandawiro, C.S., Anderson, R.M., Pullan, R.L., Nuwaha, F., Cano, J., Njenga, S.M., Odiere, M.R., Allen, E., Brooker, S.J., Nikolay, B.