Focal persistence of soil-transmitted helminthiases in impoverished areas in the State of Piaui, northeastern Brazil

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Abstract

This study aims to describe the prevalence, distribution, and factors associated with soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs) in rural localities in Piaui, Brazil. Two cross-sectional surveys (n=605 subjects; 172 families) were carried out in order to obtain socio-demographic, anthropometric, spatial and parasitological data. Parasites were evaluated using Kato-Katz and centrifugal sedimentation techniques. Eggs were measured to assess infection with zoonotic Strongylida parasites. Kernel maps were constructed with Q-GIS. The prevalence of hookworm infection was 12.4% (75/605). Other helminthes found were Trichuris trichiura (n=1; 0.2%) and Hymenolepis nana (n=1; 0.2%). The hookworm positivity rate was significantly lower among subjects who had used albendazole when compared with individuals who had not used anthelmintics or had used antiprotozoal drugs in the last 6 months (8/134 [6.0%] vs. 59/415 [14.2%]; p=0.009). A total of 39/172 (22.7%) families had at least one infected member. The association between the number of dwellers and hookworm positivity in the family was present in a logistic regression multivariate model. Assessment of worm burdens showed 92.2% light, 6.2% moderate, and 1.6% heavy infections. Hookworm eggs (n=34) measured 57.2-75.4 µm in length and 36.4-44.2 µm in width (mean ± SD = 65.86 ± 4.66 µm L and 40.05 ± 1.99 µm W), commensurate with human hookworms. Hotspots suggest that transmission has a focal pattern. STHs persist in impoverished rural areas in Northeastern Brazil where currently available control strategies (mass drug administration) apparently do not allow the elimination of the infection.

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Monteiro, K. J. L., dos Reis, E. R. C., Nunes, B. C., Jaeger, L. H., Calegar, D. A., dos Santos, J. P., … Carvalho-Costa, F. A. (2018). Focal persistence of soil-transmitted helminthiases in impoverished areas in the State of Piaui, northeastern Brazil. Revista Do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, 60. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1678-9946201860024

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