Does vitamin A supplementation protect schoolchildren from acquiring soil-transmitted helminthiasis? A randomized controlled trial

  • H.M. A
  • T.S. A
  • E.M. A
  • et al.
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Abstract

Background: Despite the intensive global efforts to control intestinal parasitic infections, the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections is still very high in many developing countries particularly among children in rural areas., Methods. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 250 Aboriginal schoolchildren in Malaysia to investigate the effects of a single high-dose of vitamin A supplementation (200 000 IU) on STH reinfection. The effect of the supplement was assessed at 3 and 6 months after receiving interventions; after a complete 3-day deworming course of 400 mg/daily of albendazole tablets., Results: Almost all children (98.6%) were infected with at least one STH species. The overall prevalence of ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm infection was 67.8%, 95.5% and 13.4%, respectively. Reinfection rates of Ascaris, Trichuris and hookworm were high; at 6 months, assessment reached 80% of the prevalence reported before treatment. There were no significant differences in the reinfection rates and intensities of STH between vitamin A supplemented-children and those who received placebo at 3 and 6 months (p > 0.05)., Conclusions: Vitamin A supplementation showed no protective effect against STH reinfection and this could be due to the high endemicity of STH in this community. Long-term interventions to reduce poverty will help significantly in reducing this continuing problem and there is no doubt that reducing intestinal parasitic infection would have a positive impact on the health, nutrition and education of these children. Trial registration. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00936091.

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APA

H.M., A.-M., T.S., A., E.M., A.-Z., M.T., A.-M., M.A., M., A., A., … N., M. (2014). Does vitamin A supplementation protect schoolchildren from acquiring soil-transmitted helminthiasis? A randomized controlled trial. Parasites and Vectors. H.M. Al-Mekhlafi, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia: BioMed Central Ltd. (E-mail: info@biomedcentral.com). Retrieved from http://www.parasitesandvectors.com/

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