The benzimidazole anthelmintics mebendazole and fenbendazole have been shown to be much less effective against Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infections in the rat on a combined iron and protein deficient diet. In the present experiments it was shown that the anthelmintic efficacy of mebendazole was significantly impaired in the rat on either an iron deficient or a protein deficient diet. Furthermore, iron and protein deficiency reduced the efficacy of the anthelmintics pyrantel and piperazine but not levamisole. The finding that nutritional deficiencies reduce anthelmintic efficacy may well be relevant to worm eradication programmes in iron deficient and protein calorie malnourished populations.
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