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Trop Med Health. 2018 Aug 7;46:29. doi: 10.1186/s41182-018-0112-y. eCollection 2018.

Mothers' Opisthorchis viverrini infection status and raw fish dish consumption in Lao People's Democratic Republic: determinants of child infection status.

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1Department of Community and Global Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
2Institut Pasteur du Laos, Ministry of Health, Vientiane Capital, Lao People's Democratic Republic.
3Department of Tropical Medicine and Malaria, Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
4Center of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Ministry of Health, Vientiane Capital, Lao People's Democratic Republic.



Opisthorchis viverrini (Ov) infection is one of the foodborne trematodiases, which is highly endemic in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR). The infection occurs especially when people eat raw fish containing Ov metacercariae. As eating raw fish is a traditional culture in Lao PDR, changing this behavior is difficult. A new approach is necessary to control Ov infection because people easily get re-infected even after taking praziquantel unless they change their behaviors. This study aimed to explore factors associated with Ov infection among children and to identify the existing behaviors and perception that might contribute to the control of Ov infection in Lao PDR. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Yommalath district, Khammouane province, in Lao PDR in August and September 2015. In this cross-sectional study, we used a semi-structured questionnaire and interviewed 348 mothers who had a child aged 5-15 years. We also collected the fecal samples from each mother-child pair and used the Kato-Katz method (three slides/sample) to detect Ov eggs.


Of 284 children, 82.8% were infected with Ov. The children were more likely to be infected with Ov when their mothers were infected with Ov (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 10.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.13-34.86) or when their mothers liked raw fish dishes (AOR 2.47, 95% CI 1.07-5.69). Even though most mothers are primarily in charge of cooking family meals, fathers were also involved in the preparation of raw fish dishes.


This study suggests that a new approach to control Ov infection should target families or communities, rather than children only. Cooking or food preparation behaviors should be investigated in more depth.


Behavior; Children; Cross-sectional study; Mothers; Opisthorchis viverrini

Conflict of interest statement

This study is one of the epidemiological studies conducted by the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) project supported by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The SATREPS project obtained the ethical approval from the National Ethics Committee for Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, in Lao PDR (reference number 049NIOPH/NECHR) in 2014. We conducted this study under this project. The Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tokyo also approved this study in 2015(reference number 10928). We strictly protected the privacy of the participants. After fecal examination, the results were sent to Yommalath district hospital and announced to village leaders or health workers so that the mothers would know the results from them. If they were Ov positive, they could select either to wait for the next mass drug administration of praziquantel, which was planned to start in October 2015, or to go to the district hospital to get praziquantel free of charge.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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