Consequences of polyparasitism on anaemia among primary school children in Zimbabwe.
ABSTRACT The effect of concomitant infection with schistosomes, Plasmodium falciparum and soil transmitted helminths (STHs) on anaemia was determined in 609 Zimbabwean primary school children. P. falciparum, haemoglobin levels and serum ferritin were determined from venous blood. Kato Katz, formal ether concentration and urine filtration techniques were used to assess prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni, STHs and Schistosoma haematobium infections. The prevalence of S. haematobium, S. mansoni, P. falciparum, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides were 52.3%, 22.7%, 27.9%, 23.7%, 2.3% and 2.1%, respectively. The overall prevalence of anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) were 48.4% (277/572) and 38.1% (181/475). Haemoglobin levels among children who had P. falciparum, S. haematobium and hookworm were lower than negative individuals, p<0.001, p<0.001 and p=0.030, respectively. The prevalence of anaemia and IDA in co-infections was almost double that in single infection. Children with P. falciparum/STHs/schistosome and schistosomes/P. falciparum co-infections recorded higher prevalence of anaemia and IDA (80.8% and 57.4%, respectively) than other combinations, p<0.001. Logistic regression revealed that, age group > or = 14 years, P. falciparum, S. haematobium light and heavy infections, and S. mansoni moderate and heavy infection, hookworm light infection were predictors of anaemia. This study suggests that integrated school based de-worming and malaria control have the potential to reduce the burden of anaemia.
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ABSTRACT: Helminth infection rates in grade three children are used as proxy indicators of community infection status and to guide treatment strategies in endemic areas. However knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of this target age group (8-10 years) in relation to schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis (STHs) and malaria is not known at a time when integrated plasmodium - helminth control strategies are being advocated. This study sought to assess KAP of grade 3 children in relation to schistosomiasis, STHs and malaria in order to establish an effective school based health education for disease transmission control. Grade 3 children (n = 172) attending four randomly selected primary schools (one in rural and 3 in the commercial farming areas) in Zimbabwe were interviewed using a pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire. The urine filtration technique was used to determine S. haematobium infection status. Infection with S. mansoni and STHs was determined using a combination of results from the Kato Katz and formol ether concentration techniques. P. falciparum was diagnosed by examination of Giemsa stained thick blood smears. It was observed that 32.0%, 19.2% and 4.1% of the respondents had correct knowledge about the causes of schistosomiasis, malaria and STHs, respectively, whilst 22.1%, 19.2% and 5.8% knew correct measures to control schistosomiasis, malaria and STHs. Sixty-two percent and 44.8% did not use soap to wash hands after toilet and before eating food respectively, whilst 33.1% never wore shoes. There were no functional water points and soap for hand washing after toilet at all schools. There was a high prevalence distribution of all parasites investigated in this study at Msapa primary school - S. haematobium (77.8%), S. mansoni (33.3%) hookworms (29.6%) and P. falciparum (48.1%). Reports that participant had suffered from schistosomiasis and malaria before were significant predictors of these diseases (p = 0.001 and p = 0.042, respectively). Report that participant had blood in urine on the day of examination was a significant predictor of schistosomiasis (p = 0.045). There is a critical need for targeting health messages through schools in order to reach the most susceptible schoolchildren. This will empower the schoolchildren with the basic knowledge and skills ultimately protecting them from acquiring schistosomiasis, STHs and malaria.BMC Infectious Diseases 06/2011; 11:169. · 3.03 Impact Factor
Article: Endectocides for malaria control.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Systemic endectocidal drugs, used to control nematodes in humans and other vertebrates, can be toxic to Anopheles spp. mosquitoes when they take a blood meal from a host that has recently received one of these drugs. Recent laboratory and field studies have highlighted the potential of ivermectin to control malaria parasite transmission if this drug is distributed strategically and more often. There are important theoretical benefits to this strategy, as well as caveats. A better understanding of drug effects against vectors and malaria ecologies are needed. In the near future, ivermectin and other endectocides could serve as potent and novel malaria transmission control tools that are directly linked to the control of neglected tropical diseases in the same communities.Trends in Parasitology 07/2011; 27(10):423-8. · 5.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite the overlapping distribution of Schistosoma haematobium and Plasmodium falciparum infections, few studies have investigated early immune responses to both parasites in young children resident in areas co-endemic for the parasites. This study measures infection levels of both parasites and relates them to exposure and immune responses in young children. Levels of IgM, IgE, IgG4 directed against schistosome cercariae, egg and adult worm and IgM, IgG directed against P. falciparum schizonts and the merozoite surface proteins 1 and 2 together with the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and TNF-α were measured by ELISA in 95 Zimbabwean children aged 1-5 years. Schistosome infection prevalence was 14·7% and that of Plasmodium infection was 0% in the children. 43. 4% of the children showed immunological evidence of exposure to schistosome parasites and 13% showed immunological evidence of exposure to Plasmodium parasites. Schistosome-specific responses, indicative of exposure to parasite antigens, were positively associated with cercariae-specific IgE responses, while Plasmodium-specific responses, indicative of exposure to parasite antigens, were negatively associated with responses associated with protective immunity against Plasmodium. There was no significant association between schistosome-specific and Plasmodium-specific responses. Systemic cytokine levels rose with age as well as with schistosome infection and exposure. Overall the results show that (1) significantly more children are exposed to schistosome and Plasmodium infection than those currently infected and; (2) the development of protective acquired immunity commences in early childhood, although its effects on infection levels and pathology may take many years to become apparent.Parasitology 08/2011; 138(12):1519-33. · 2.36 Impact Factor