Helminths currently affect over 2 billion people worldwide with a quarter of the world’s population infected at some time in their lives. Sobering statistics from the WHO March 2008 report that 80% of the “Bottom Billion” impoverished population of the world have Ascaris, 60% have Trichuris, and 57% have hookworms. This would only be a problem of pharmacologic distribution if not for an additional report demonstrating that several new studies reported to the WHO claim a 50% failure rate clearing Trichuris and 90% failure rate clearing hookworm. These parasitic infections pose a challenge to tropical physicians who have considered mebendazole and albendazole as adequate treatments for children. This is even more of a challenge for physicians in temperate climates who may be less familiar with these medications. This article presents the recent data and the approach to treatment failure and new therapeutic approaches.
Part of the book: Helminthiasis