Abstract: Scabies is endemic in many Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with 69% of infants infected in the first year of life. Previous mass drug administration (MDA) programs using topical acaricides to decrease scabies prevalence have had varying degrees of success in Australia. We were invited by one community in eastern Arnhem Land to develop and deliver an oral-ivermectin MDA. Utilizing a before and after study design, we measured scabies prevalence through population census with sequential MDAs at baseline and month 12. Scabies prevalence fell from 4% at baseline to 1% at month 6, rising to 9% at month 12 in association with an identified exposure to a presumptive crusted scabies case. For new entries to the cohort at month 12 scabies prevalence was higher at 14%. We were able to demonstrate a reduction in scabies prevalence in the six months after each MDA with a low risk of acquisition (1–2%); however, a sustained reduction was not achieved.
Kearns, Thérèse M., Speare, Richard, Cheng, Allen C., McCarthy, James, Carapetis, Jonathan R., Holt, Deborah C., Currie, Bart J., Page, Wendy, Shield, Jennifer, Gundjirryirr, Roslyn, Bundhala, Leanne, Mulholland, Eddie, Chatfield, Mark, Andrews, Ross M., 2015, Impact of an ivermectin mass drug administration on scabies prevalence in a remote Australian Aboriginal community, Volume:9, Journal Article, viewed 30 November 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=12939.