Friday, April 28, 2006

Haemoglobin, Anaemia and the Disease Load

GILGEN, D and C. G. N. MASCIE-TAYLOR, (2001) The effect of anthelmintic treatment on helminth infection and anaemia, Parasitology, 122: 105-110 Cambridge University Press


A 24-week randomized double blind intervention trial was conducted on adult female tea pluckers from an estate in Bangladesh to investigate the impact of iron supplementation and anthelmintic treatment on changes in ferritin and haemoglobin levels as well as on prevalence and intensity of helminth infections. A total of 553 women were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 intervention groups: group 1 received iron supplementation on a weekly basis, group 2 received anthelmintic treatment at the beginning and half way through the trial, group 3 received both iron supplementation as group 1 and anthelmintic treatment as group 2, and group 4 was a control group and received placebos for both iron supplementation and anthelmintic treatment. Prevalence and intensity of helminth infections (egg counts/g stool) of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms significantly fell in the 2 groups receiving anthelmintic treatment and there were some reductions in the 2 groups not receiving anthelminthic treatment. Haemoglobin and haematocrit concentrations increased significantly in the iron supplemented groups with smaller increases in the anthelmintic only group. All women showed a decrease in serum ferritin levels post-trial with greater losses in the 2 dewormed groups. Significant negative associations were found between hookworm egg counts and ferritin levels and Trichuris trichiura egg counts and haemoglobin concentration.

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