To determine the effect of an antiprotozoic treatment on children with persistent abdominal pain and infection with Dientamoeba fragilis.
A total of 43 children with D. fragilis infection and persistent gastrointestinal complaints were included in the study. Of these 27 were treated with clioquinol and 16 with a nitroimidazole drug: metronidazole or tinidazole. The parasitological and clinical effects of the treatment were assessed.
In 33 of the 43 (77) children, no parasites were detected during follow-up with a triple faeces test: 22/27 following treatment with clioquinol and 11/16 following treatment with a nitroimidazole drug. In 27 of the 33 (82) children with a negative follow-up result, gastrointestinal complaints were considerably less or had completely disappeared. In 2 of the 10 (20) children in which D. fragilis had not disappeared in the follow-up period, the complaints were less or had disappeared.
Effective treatment of D. fragilis infection in children with longstanding gastrointestinal complaints often resulted in a reduction or disappearance of the complaints.