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Parameters associated with Schistosoma haematobium infection before and after chemotherapy in school children from two villages in the Coast province of Kenya

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We evaluated the impact of praziquantel therapy (40 mg/kg body weight) on indicators of infection with Schistosoma haematobium by following a cohort of infected children from schools located 12 km apart in the Coast province of Kenya, at 0, 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months after treatment. Within this period, measurements of infection parameters pertaining to egg counts and haematuria (micro-, macro- and history) were evaluated at all time points. The initial prevalence of 100% dropped significantly 8 weeks after treatment with a similar trend in the intensity of infection. Microhaematuria followed the same trend as observed for egg counts while macrohaematuria remained low after treatment. Reinfection following successful therapy differed significantly between schools; in one school the children were reinfected immediately while those in the other remained uninfected despite similar starting prevalences, intensities of infection and cure rates. Transmission between the two areas looked homogeneous before treatment but when both groups were treated, contrasting transmission patterns became evident. In a regression model we evaluated factors that might be associated with reinfection, and after allowing for pretreatment infection level, age and sex, area (school) remained a highly significant predictor.

Keywords: Praziquantel; Schistosoma haematobium; haematuria; prevalence; ultrasound

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Vector Borne Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya 2: Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory, Copenhagen, Denmark 3: Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Publication date: May 1, 1999


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