A Scoping Review and Prevalence Analysis of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in Honduras

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.45). 01/2014; 8(1):e2653. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002653
Source: PubMed


Honduras is endemic for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, but critical information gaps still remain on the prevalence and intensity of these infections as well as on their spatial distribution at subnational levels.
Firstly, to review the research activity on STH infections in Honduras and secondly, to carry out a national prevalence analysis and map the geographical distribution of these infections in children.
A systematic search was conducted of the published and grey literature to identify scientific work on the impact and prevalence of STH infections done between May 1930 and June 30, 2012. International databases and Honduran journals were searched. Grey literature was gleaned from local libraries and key informants. Select studies conducted between 2001 and 2012 were used to produce prevalence maps and to investigate association between STH prevalence and socio-economic and environmental factors.
Of 257 identified studies, 211 (21.4% peer-reviewed) were retained for analysis and categorized as clinical research (10.9%), treatment efficacy studies (8.1%) or epidemiological studies (81%). Prevalence analysis and geographical mapping included 36 epidemiological studies from Honduras's 18 departments and 23% of its municipalities. Overall STH prevalence was >50% in 40.6% of municipalities. Prevalences above 20% for each trichuriasis, ascariasis, and hookworm infection were found in 68%, 47.8%, and 7.2% of studied municipalities, respectively. Municipalities with lower human development index, less access to of potable water, and with higher annual precipitation showed higher STH prevalences.
This is the first study to provide a comprehensive historic review of STH research activity and prevalence in Honduras, revealing important knowledge gaps related to infection risk factors, disease burden, and anti-parasitic drug efficacy, among others. Our decade-long prevalence analysis reveals geographical differences in STH prevalence and these findings suggest that differential intervention strategies might be necessary in Honduras for the control of these infections.

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Available from: José Antonio Gabrie, Mar 24, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Among many neglected tropical diseases endemic in Honduras, soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are of particular importance. However, knowledge gaps remain in terms of risk factors involved in infection transmission. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors associated with STH infections in schoolchildren living in rural Honduras. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among Honduran rural schoolchildren in 2011. Demographic, socio-economic, and epidemiological data were obtained through a standardized questionnaire and STH infections were determined by the Kato-Katz method. Logistic regression models accounting for school clustering were used to assess putative risk factors for infection. Results: A total of 320 children completed the study. Prevalences for any STH and for Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms were: 72.5%, 30.3%, 66.9% and 15.9%, respectively. A number of risk factors were identified at the individual, household, and school level. Boys were at increased odds of infection with hookworms (OR 2.33, 95% CI = 1.23-4.42). Higher socio-economic status in the family had a protective effect against infections by A. lumbricoides (OR 0.80, 95% CI = 0.65-0.99) and T. trichiura (OR 0.77, 95% CI = 0.63-0.94).Low school hygiene conditions significantly increased the odds for ascariasis (OR 14.85, 95% CI = 7.29-30.24), trichuriasis (OR 7.32, 95% CI = 3.71-14.45), mixed infections (OR 9.02, 95% CI = 4.66-17.46), and ascariasis intensity of infection (OR 3.32, 95% CI = 1.05 -10.52).Children attending schools not providing deworming treatment or that had provided it only once a year were at increased odds of ascariasis (OR 10.40, 95% CI = 4.39-24.65), hookworm (OR 2.92, 95% CI = 1.09-7.85) and mixed infections (OR 10.57, 95% CI = 4.53-24.66). Conclusions: Poverty-reduction strategies will ultimately lead to sustainable control of STH infections in Honduras, but as shorter-term measures, uninterrupted bi-annual deworming treatment paired with improvements in school sanitary conditions may result in significant reductions of STH prevalence among Honduran schoolchildren.
    Parasites & Vectors 08/2014; 7(1):354. DOI:10.1186/1756-3305-7-354 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Many small studies have been done in Honduras estimating soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) prevalence but a country-wide study was last done in 2005. The country has the highest burden of malaria among all Central American countries. The present study was done to estimate country-wide STH prevalence and intensity, malaria prevalence and nutritional status in school going children. Methods and Findings A cross-sectional study was conducted following PAHO/WHO guidelines to select a sample of school going children of 3rd to 5th grades, representative of ecological regions in the country. A survey questionnaire was filled; anthropometric measurements, stool sample for STH and blood sample for malaria were taken. Kato-Katz method was used for STH prevalence and intensity and rapid diagnostic tests, microscopy, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used for malaria parasite detection. A total of 2554 students were studied of which 43.5% had one or more STH. Trichuriasis was the most prevalent (34%) followed by ascariasis (22.3%) and hookworm (0.9%). Ecological regions II (59.7%) and VI (55.6%) in the north had the highest STH prevalence rates while IV had the lowest (10.6%). Prevalence of one or more high intensity STH was low (1.6%). Plasmodium vivax was detected by PCR in only 5 students (0.2%), all of which belonged to the same municipality; no P. falciparum infection was detected. The majority of children (83%) had normal body mass index for their respective age but a significant proportion were overweight (10.42%) and obese (4.35%). Conclusions Biannual deworming campaigns would be necessary in ecological regions II and VI, where STH prevalence is >50%. High prevalence of obesity in school going children is a worrying trend and portends of future increase in obesity related diseases. Malaria prevalence, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, was low and provides evidence for Honduras to embark on elimination of the disease.
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