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Friday 21st October 2016

New roundworm treatment tested

11th August 2009

Scientists in China have developed an experimental drug for the treatment of roundworms.


Roundworms are a parasite affecting the intestines of nearly two billion people in the world's tropical countries.

Albendazole is the one drug currently available for treating the disease, but due to widespread overuse, the worm has become resistant to it.

The conclusion that tribendimidine may be an effective remedy for other countries came after the drug was researched by a team composed of Chinese and US researchers.

However, the drug has long been approved for use by the China State Food and Drug Administration.

Roundworm is especially dangerous for expectant mothers and children, who contract it through microscopic breaks in the skin or by the oral route.

Children experience malnutrition and developmental problems when exposed to the worm, and if it enters a person's eyes, it can cause them to go blind.

With repeated infection comes the danger of inflammation.

Although infection is more common in warm climates, roundworm also affects people in developed countries.

People living in areas with poor sanitation are more likely to contract the parasite, especially if they are already immunocompromised or have contact with animal faeces.

Researchers said that tribendimidine was particularly effective against the hookworm parasite, a type of roundworm, and recommended that the drug be used where people have already become accustomed to albendazole.

They said that tribendimidine could also be combined with albendazole to increase the effectiveness of killing parasitic roundworms, since both drugs have different biological killing mechanisms.

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