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Saturday 22nd October 2016

New drug tested to fight intestinal worms

17th October 2008

Experts in China have tested a new drug to fight intestinal worms, which affect one in five people globally.


Researchers in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan say the new compound, with the generic name tribendimidine, appears to eliminate large numbers of tapeworm, threadworm, and other intestinal parasites.

Worms can place an additional burden of disease on societies, and appear to be fast developing resistance to common drugs used to treat them.

Causing weight loss in infants, malnutrition and anaemia, they can also retard mental and physical growth, affecting economic growth in communities where they are rife.

Scientists have been racing to find new treatment in the face of the emergence of drug-resistant species.

Tribendimine was developed in an attempt to control tapeworm and threadworm, which are endemic in China, and prevalent among ethnic groups who traditionally eat undercooked pork or beef.

Researchers gave a commonly used drug, albendazole, to 66 villagers from Nongyang, Yunnan, and tribendimidine to the remaining 57.

They took stool samples before and after treatment, examining them for the eggs of the parasitic worms.

Writing in the open-access journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Neglected Tropical Diseases, they reported that tribendimine seemed to be effective in treating tapeworm.

However, while both drugs reduced the prevalence of threadworm, there was no obvious difference in their effectiveness against this parasite.

Other parasites, like large roundworms and hookworms were significantly reduced by both albendazole and tribendimine, while neither appeared efficacious in cases of whipworm, according to the report, which was carried out byby the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel and China's National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (IPD) in Shanghai, Yunnan Institute of Parasitic Diseases and Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases in Wuxi.

The study's authors said further trials would be needed to find out which dosages were best for tribendimidine.


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