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Parasitology. 1998 Jan;116 ( Pt 1):85-93.

Associations among multiple geohelminth species infections in schoolchildren from Pemba Island.

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Department of Biology, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, UK.


In order to estimate the potential benefits of interventions against multiple geohelminth species in endemic areas, an improved understanding of the population biology of multiple infections is required. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the associations among Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm infections in 1539 schoolchildren on Pemba Island, Tanzania, where 58% of the sampled children carried infections of all 3 parasites at the time of the study. Infection intensities of different species were positively correlated, and individuals with single-species infections had generally lower species-specific egg counts than individuals with multiple-species infections. There was no age- or sex-related clustering of infections. A weak clustering of intense infections among individuals with multiple-species infections was observed, which became more pronounced as the threshold defining an intense infection increased for each species. The results suggest that individuals with multiple species infections are likely to be at highest risk of geohelminth-related morbidity, not only because of the number of infections they harbour, but also because they generally carry heavier infections of each species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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