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General medicine
EBM verdict: should albendazole be used for treating lymphatic filariasis? No
  1. Igho J Onakpoya
  1. Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Igho J Onakpoya; igho.onakpoya{at}

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Although the WHO Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis recommends mass treatment of albendazole coadministered with the microfilaricidal drugs, there is no clear rationale. Results of a recent Cochrane review demonstrate that albendazole has no role in the treatment of lymphatic filariasis.

Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating illness of tropical and subtropical regions. It is caused by the roundworm, Wuchereria bancrofti, the main vector of which is the mosquito, and is characterised by fever, lymphoedema, hydrocele and elephantiasis.1 Based on current WHO estimates, over 120 million people globally are infected with lymphatic filariasis,2 and 1.3 billion people are at risk of infection.3

In 2000, the WHO launched the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis with the twin aim of stopping the spread of infection and controlling …

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