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November 11, 1974

Therapy of Hydatid Disease

Author Affiliations

Rahway, NJ

JAMA. 1974;230(6):825. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240060015015

To the Editor.—  Two recent reports1,2 indicate that the anthelmintic drug mebendazole is highly effective in killing certain tapeworm larvae in mice, including the secondary hydatid cysts of Echinococcus granulosus. Although the dosage used was much higher than that used for other purposes in man, the reports are of the utmost importance in relation to the possibility of treating hydatid disease in man. We too have found mebendazole effective against the secondary hydatids of E multilocularis—the species responsible for the alveolar form of hydatid disease in man.In our experiments, mebendazole was used as the commercial veterinary formulation Telmin. Albino mice (maintained on a hydrocortisone-supplemented diet to promote parasite growth) were treated for three days, beginning 22 days after intraperitoneal inoculation with protoscolices of E multilocularis. Twelve days after treatment, eight saline-treated control mice yielded cystic masses ranging from 105 to 2,274 mg, with a mean of 819.9