Does Deworming Improve Growth and School Performance in Children?
In 2000, reliable evidence from relevant controlled trials about the effects of anthelminth drugs for soil-transmitted helminth infection on child growth and cognition was reviewed and the review was published in The Cochrane Database (Dickson R, Awasthi S, Williamson P, Demellweek C, Garner P (2000) Anthelmintic drugs for treating worms in children: effects on growth and cognitive performance. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2000, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD000371.). It demonstrated uncertainty around the assumed benefit and concluded that it may be a potentially important intervention, but needed better evaluation.
This viewpoint article discusses the review, the criticisms it received in letters to the BMJ, and the recent update of the original Cochrane review (Taylor-Robinson D, Jones A, Garner P (2007) Deworming drugs for treating soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on growth and school performance. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000371.).
Commentaries on the updated review are also available:
- Engels D, Savioli L (2009) Evidence-Based Policy on Deworming. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(1): e359.
- Bundy DAP, Kremer M, Bleakley H, Jukes MCH, Miguel E (2009) Deworming and Development: Asking the Right Questions, Asking the Questions Right. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(1): e362.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2009) 3(1) e358 [doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000358]