Applied field research for comprehensive helminth infection control

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2010 Mar:122 Suppl 1:27-30. doi: 10.1007/s00508-010-1332-2.


The Institute for Tropical Medicine at University of Tübingen has established 30 years ago in Togo a Research Centre and Onchocerciasis Reference Laboratory (ORL). Onchocerca volvulus infection control and of other neglected tropical diseases has been the focus of activities, and those were performed together with the National Institute of Hygiene in Togo, the Medical Faculty at University of Lomé, national disease control programs and district and regional hospitals. The ORL contributed significantly to the assessment of ivermectin as the prime choice for onchocerciasis treatment, and 24 years of repeated annual treatment with ivermectin has progressively reduced disease prevalence and notably the level of ocular and dermal manifestations of onchocerciasis in the endemic population. The ORL has shown that large parts of the rural population in Togo is concurrently infected with intestinal and intravascular protozoan and helminth parasites, notably school children. The application of repeated treatments with albendazole and praziquantel against Schistosoma spp. and instestinal helminthes for several years has reduced infection intensities by more than 80%. Longitudinal investigations of the cellular immune responses in adults and children have found that parasite co-infections will generate prominent pro-inflammatory responses, and a single or few interventions will not suffice to eliminate co-infections and not establish an appropriately balanced immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Germany
  • Health Services Research / trends*
  • Helminthiasis / prevention & control*
  • Humans