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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1988 Jun;82(3):251-6.

The evidence for predisposition to trichuriasis in humans: comparison of institutional and community studies.

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  • 1Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College, London, U.K.


This article compares the results of two studies of Trichuris trichiura infection, one conducted in a children's home and the other in a village. In both, the intensity of infection of a cohort of children was determined by antihelminthic expulsion initially, and again after a period of re-infection. The cohort of village children showed a predisposition to a particular intensity of infection. An individual with a heavy infection initially was likely to re-acquire a heavier than average worm burden. No such correlation was observed for the cohort of institutionalized children. It is suggested that the causation of predisposition is multifactorial, and that the contrasting results of the two studies may be due in part to differing levels of heterogeneity in exposure to infection, the village children being exposed to dissimilar domestic environments and the institutionalized children to only one.

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