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

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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.




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.

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