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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Sep-Oct;93(5):497-502.

Patterns of concurrent hookworm infection and schistosomiasis in schoolchildren in Tanzania.

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National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, Tanzania.


A cross-sectional study of 6897 schoolchildren in 59 out of the 155 primary schools in Magu District on the shores of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, was undertaken in 1997 to determine the prevalence of single- and multiple-species helminth infection. Schistosoma haematobium, hookworm (primarily Necator americanus) and S. mansoni were the most common helminth species infecting schoolchildren in the district. The prevalences of Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were negligible (< 1%). Anaemia and stunting were highly prevalent and widespread. Hookworm and S. mansoni occurred more frequently in multiple infections with other helminths than as single-species infections, but triple-species infection was rare. Analysis of the frequency distribution of infection amongst schools showed that prevalences of S. haematobium and hookworm tended to be normally distributed, with medians 75% and 45%, respectively, while the distribution of S. mansoni was markedly skewed such that only 17% schools had a prevalence greater than 20%. An inverse association between S. mansoni and S. haematobium was observed. Geographical information system (GIS) analysis indicated that S. mansoni infection was highly prevalent only along the shore of Lake Victoria, whilst S. haematobium was homogeneously prevalent everywhere except the lakeshore. This pattern appears to reflect the distribution of schistosome species-specific snail intermediate hosts. The results imply that joint treatment for hookworm infection and schistosomiasis would be beneficial throughout the district.

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