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Factors Involved in Schistosoma mansoni Infection, in Rural Areas of Northeast Brazil

Author(s): Coutinho Eridan M | Abath Frederico GC | Barbosa Constança S | Domingues Ana Lúcia C | Melo Marcelo CV | Montenegro Silvia ML | Lucena Maria Anunciada F | Romani Sylvia AM | Souza Wayner V | Coutinho Amaury D

Journal: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
ISSN 0074-0276

Volume: 92;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 707;
Date: 1997;
Original page

Keywords: epidemiology | schistosomiasis | risk factors | nutrition

Two contiguous villages in Tracunhaém county (State of Pernambuco), endemic for schistosomiasis, were studied: Itapinassu (138 inhabitants) and São Joaquim (91 inhabitants). Agriculture predominates in the former region while ceramics is the main activity in the latter. Although no statistical difference was found regarding prevalence, severe infection (>400 epg) predominated in Itapinassu, probably related to the kind of occupation. No association was found between parasite burden and severity of disease, in spite of the high infection rates for Schistosoma mansoni in both communities (approx. 60%). Typical epidemiological features of schistosomiasis such as age-related prevalences and intensities of infection (high in children, low in adults) were also mutual characteristics. Nutritional status determined through anthropometric evaluation was carried out by measuring specific anthropometric indicators. A deficit of energy intake, as well as vitamin A and riboflavin deficiencies were detected. The prevalence of moderate or severe undernutrition in patients under 18 years old was 21.9% in Itapinassu and 24.1% in São Joaquim. In this group an association was found between prevalence of schistosomiasis and chronic undernutrition. Similarly, for patients over 18 year old the prevalence of undernutrition was higher than 20%. However, in this case no association between nutritional status and either prevalence of schistosomiasis or parasite burden could be detected. The two communities had not been treated for eight years.
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