|dc.description.abstract||Objectives: To evaluate the effect of multiple rounds of annual single dose of DEC (6 mg/kg) or albendazole
(400 mg) given alone or in combination on Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaraemia, anti-filarial IgG1 and
IgG4 and antigenaemia.
Methods: A total of 170 participants were randomly assigned to albendazole (n = 62), DEC (n = 54), and
DEC plus albendazole (DEC/ALB) combination (n = 54). Blood samples were collected at pre-treatment in
1998, at 1 week and 6 months after the first treatment and thereafter before subsequent treatments in
1999 and 2000. Effects of treatment on W. bancrofti infection were determined by changes in levels of
microfilaraemia, antifilarial antibodies and circulating filarial antigen.
Results: Comparison of geometric mean microfilariae intensities between DEC/ALB combination and DEC
or albendazole single therapy groups after two rounds of annual treatment and 24 months follow-up
showed that combination therapy resulted in a greater reduction of microfilaraemia than single therapy
with either albendazole (p < 0.001) or DEC alone (p = 0.146). The overall levels of anti-filarial antibodies
decreased significantly (p = 0.028 for IgG1 and p < 0.043 for IgG4) in all treatment groups at 24 months
follow-up. Additionally, overall reduction in geometric mean circulating filarial antigen levels at 24
months was 44%, 60% and 85% for albendazole, DEC and DEC/ALB groups, respectively.
Conclusions: These study findings suggest that albendazole improved efficacy of DEC and mass administration
of a combination of the two drugs would therefore enhance the interruption of transmission of W.
bancrofti in endemic areas. This information has important implications for the ongoing Global Program
for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis||en