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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 May;84(5):787-91. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0685.

Schistosomiasis among young children in Usoma, Kenya.

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  • 1Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Although schistosomiasis burden is greatest among school-age children (SAC) (6-15 years of age), infection among preschool-age children (PSAC) (1-5 years), may be underestimated in endemic areas. We conducted a cross-sectional study evaluating Schistosoma mansoni infection among children 1-15 years of age in a highly endemic community in Kenya. Diagnostic tests included stool exam (Kato/Katz technique), serum testing for schistosome-specific antibodies, and urine testing for circulating cathodic antigen (CCA). Overall, 268 SAC and 216 PSAC were enrolled; prevalence increased with age, with 14% of 1 year olds and more than 90% of children > 10 years of age infected. Stool exam was more sensitive among SAC than PSAC, but performance was similar after adjusting for infection intensity (based on CCA). Schistosomiasis poses a threat to PSAC in endemic areas, and stool exam may underestimate the prevalence of infection. Control programs in such areas should consider PSAC in addition to SAC.

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