Parasitological impact of 2-year preventive chemotherapy on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in Uganda
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Vector Control Division, Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda; Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom
Background: Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) are among the neglected tropical diseases in Africa. A national control program for these diseases was initiated in Uganda during March 2003. Annual treatment with praziquantel and albendazole was given to schoolchildren in endemic areas and to adults in selected communities where local prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni in schoolchildren was high. Methods: The impact of the treatment program was monitored through cohorts of schoolchildren and adults. Their infection status with S. mansoni and STH was determined by parasitological examinations at baseline and at annual follow-ups. The prevalence and intensity of S. mansoni and STH before and after treatment were analyzed. Results: Two rounds of treatment significantly reduced the prevalence of S. mansoni infection in schoolchildren across three regions in the country from 33.4-49.3% to 9.7-29.6%, and intensity of infection from 105.7-386.8 eggs per gram of faeces (epg) to 11.6-84.1 epg. The prevalence of hookworm infection was reduced from 41.2-57.9% to 5.5-16.1%, and intensity of infection from 186.9-416.8 epg to 3.7-36.9 epg. The proportion of children with heavy S. mansoni infection was significantly reduced from 15% (95% CI 13.4-16.8%) to 2.3% (95% CI 1.6-3.0%). In adults, significant reduction in the prevalence and intensity of S. mansoni and hookworm infections was also observed. More importantly, the prevalence and intensity of both S. mansoni and hookworm infections in the cohorts of newly-recruited 6-year-olds who had never previously received treatment decreased significantly over 2 years: 34.9% (95% CI 31.9-37.8%) to 22.6% (95% CI 19.9-25.2%) and 171.1 epg (95% CI 141.5-200.7) to 72.0 epg (95% CI 50.9-93.1) for S. mansoni; and 48.4% (95% CI 45.4-51.5) to 15.9% (95% CI 13.6-18.2) and 232.7 epg (95% CI 188.4-276.9) to 51.4 epg (95% CI 33.4-69.5) for hookworms, suggesting a general decline in environmental transmission levels. Conclusion: Annual anthelminthic treatment delivered to schoolchildren and to adults at high risk in Uganda can significantly reduce the prevalence and intensity of infection for schistosomiasis and STH, and potentially also significantly reduce levels of environmental transmission of infection. © 2007 Zhang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
albendazole; praziquantel; antineoplastic agent; adult; article; ascariasis; Ascaris lumbricoides; child; cohort analysis; confidence interval; controlled study; endemic disease; female; follow up; helminthiasis; high risk population; hookworm infection; human; infection prevention; infection risk; major clinical study; male; parasite control; parasite prevalence; parasite transmission; Schistosoma mansoni; schistosomiasis; treatment duration; trichuriasis; Trichuris; Uganda; animal; comparative study; disease transmission; helminthiasis; parasitology; Schistosoma mansoni; soil; Uganda; Adult; Animals; Antineoplastic Agents; Child; Cohort Studies; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Helminthiasis; Humans; Male; Schistosomiasis mansoni; Soil; Uganda