Treatment and Prognosis

Table 3 shows the drugs most commonly used in treatment of these parasitic infections. Anthelmintic drugs have improved dramatically during the last 20 years and are now highly effective; in most cases a single course of treatment will result in parasite eradication. However, immunocompromised hosts, including malnourished children, may require more extensive courses of therapy to completely eliminate the infection. This is particularly the case in the treatment of cryptosporidiosis. Iron supplements are usually provided where blood loss has resulted in iron deficiency anemia.

Recovery from infection is usually complete and rapid as most parasites do not cause lasting damage to their host. Schistosomiasis is the exception and can result in permanent granuloma formation in several tissues, particularly the liver and spleen, which may become life threatening.

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