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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1992;87 Suppl 4:203-10.

Age-targeted chemotherapy for control of urinary schistosomiasis in endemic populations.

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Division of Geographic Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4983.


Severity of urinary tract morbidity increases with intensity and duration of Schistosoma haematobium infection. We assessed the ability of yearly drug therapy to control infection intensity and reduce S. haematobium-associated disease in children 5-21 years old in an endemic area of Kenya. In year 1, therapy resulted in reduced prevalence (66% to 22%, P < 0.001) and intensity of S. haematobium infection (20 to 2 eggs/10 mL urine), with corresponding reductions in the prevalence of hematuria (52% to 19%, P < 0.001). There was not, however, a significant first-year effect on prevalence of urinary tract abnormalities detected by ultrasound. Repeat therapy in years 2 and 3 resulted in significant regression of hydronephrosis and bladder abnormalities (41% to 6% prevalence, P < 0.01), and further reductions in proteinuria. Repeat age-targeted therapy was associated with decreased prevalence of infection among young children (< 5 yr) entering into the targeted age group. Two years after discontinuation of therapy, intensity of S. haematobium infection and ultrasound abnormalities remained suppressed, but hematuria prevalence began to increase (to 33% in 1989). Reinstitution of annual therapy in 1989 and 1990 reversed this trend. We conclude that annual oral therapy provides an effective strategy for control of morbidity due to S. haematobium on a population basis, both through regression of disease in treated individuals, and prevention of infection in untreated subjects.

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