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Helminth parasites: The cause of distress and diseases

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Helminth infections are one of the most common infections of mankind. The nematode and trematode parasites cause almost ten million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide. The worm burden and the resulting morbidities are largely restricted to the children and those mainly belonging to poor countries. Although preventive chemotherapy is the most common method of treatment, it is associated with high-intensity recurrent infections. Therefore, the preventive strategies such as water, sanitation and health education along with chemotherapy are required to completely eliminate the soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. The frequent use of anthelmintic drugs because of reinfections results in their diminished efficacy leading to drug resistance. Therefore, mass drug administration is not an effective measure to combat STH infections. In such cases, vaccine too proves ineffective because these parasites often evade or modify the immune responses. Therefore, the approach now is to control the disease by reducing the worm burden below threshold level.




Tahseen, Q. (2018). Helminth parasites: The cause of distress and diseases. In Infectious Diseases and Your Health (pp. 135–187). Springer Singapore.

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