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

Al-Mekhlafi, H.M. and Anuar, T.S. and Al-Zabedi, E.M. and Al-Maktari, M.T. and Mahdy, M.A.K. and Ahmed, A. and Sallam, A.A. and Abdullah, W.A. and Moktar, N. and Surin, Johari (2014) Does vitamin A supplementation protect schoolchildren from acquiring soil-transmitted helminthiasis? A randomized controlled trial. Parasites & Vectors, 7 (367). ISSN 1756-3305, DOI

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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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil-transmitted helminths; Vitamin A; Randomized clinical trial; Malaysia
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Nur Azzura Azzahra Jaafar
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2014 01:31
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2019 04:16

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