Impact of Annual Albendazole versus Four-Monthly Test-and-Treat Approach of Intestinal Parasites on Children Growth—A Longitudinal Four-Arm Randomized Parallel Trial during Two Years of a Community Follow-Up in Bengo, Angola

Carolina Gasparinho, Aguinaldo Kanjungo, Félix Zage, Isabel Clemente, Ana Santos-reis, Miguel Brito, José Carlos Sousa-figueiredo, Filomeno Fortes, Luzia Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Malnutrition and intestinal parasites continue to have serious impacts on growth and cog-nitive development of children in Angola. A longitudinal four-arm randomized parallel trial was conducted to investigate if deworming with a single annual dose of albendazole (annual-ALB) or a four-monthly test-and-treat (4TT) intestinal parasites approach at individual or household levels improve nutritional outcomes of pre-school children in Bengo province. Children with intestinal parasites (n = 121) were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) to arm A1: annual-ALB*individual level; A2: annual-ALB*household level; A3: 4TT*individual; and A4: 4TT*household level. At baseline, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 months of follow-up, growth was assessed by height, weight, height-for-age, weight-for-height, weight-for-age, and mid-upper arm circumference. Intention-to-treat analysis was done using non-parametric approach, mixed effect models, and generalized estimating equa-tions (GEE). Initially, 57% and 26% of the children were infected by Giardia lamblia and Ascaris lum-bricoides, respectively. This study did not show that a 4TT intestinal parasites approach results on better growth outcomes of children (height, weight, HAZ, WAZ, WHZ and MUACZ) when com-pared with annual ALB, with exception of height and WHZ using GEE model at 5% level. Positive temporal effects on most nutrition outcomes were observed. Implementing a longitudinal study in a poor setting is challenging and larger sample sizes and ‘pure and clean’ data are difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, learned lessons from this intensive study may contribute to future scientific research and to tailor multidisciplinary approaches to minimize malnutrition and infections in resource-poor countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309
Pages (from-to)309-335
Number of pages27
JournalPathogens
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Stunting
  • Z-score
  • Growth
  • Longitudinal
  • Deworming
  • Intestinal parasites

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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