Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) such as Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworms, and Trichuris trichiura are intestinal parasites that require fecal contamination of the environment for transmission.
The number of infected individuals worldwide for Ascaris, hookworm and Trichuris are estimated to be 1000 million, 650 million, and 700 million, respectively.
These parasites have their highest health impacts in children; they impair growth, retard cognitive development, and cause severe anemia.
Drugs used for lymphatic filariasis or onchocerciasis MDA are also active against STH, and suppression of STH is an important ancillary benefit of MDA programs for LF. Conventional de-worming campaigns usually target school-aged children, and they have limited impact on transmission.
The DOLF project is studying the effects of treating total populations to test whether MDA can reduce STH infection intensities and reinfection rates.