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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-17

Prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma haematobium infection among schoolchildren in central Zambia before and after mass treatment with a single dose of praziquantel


1 Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Zambia, Zambia, United Kingdom
2 Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences; Tropical Gastroenterology and Nutrition Group, School of Medicine, The University of Zambia, Zambia, United Kingdom
3 Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences; Tropical Gastroenterology and Nutrition Group, School of Medicine, The University of Zambia, Zambia; Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Mubanga F Chama
Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, The University of Zambia
United Kingdom
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DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_32_17

PMID: 29930901

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Introduction: Urinary schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma haematobium is common in some parts of Lusaka Province, Zambia, where water contact activity is high and sanitation is poor. We conducted a longitudinal study in Ng'ombe Compound of Lusaka, between 2007 and 2015, to observe the prevalence and intensity of S. haematobium infection among community primary school children, before and after receiving a single dose of praziquantel. Materials and Methods: A total of 975 (445 females and 530 males) pupils, aged 9–16 years, were tested for S. haematobium at baseline. After mass treatment with praziquantel in 2010, 1570 pupils (785 females and 785 males), aged 9–15 years, were examined for S. haematobium eggs, from 2011 to 2015. Results: At baseline, 279 out of 975 of the children were infected, with light infections constituting 84.9% and 15.1% classified as heavy infection. After mass treatment with praziquantel, the prevalence rate dropped, slightly, to 20.3% (63 out of 310) in 2011. However, it increased the following years up to 38% (133 out of 350) in 2015, with prevalence rates higher in males than females. The average number of heavy infection cases increased to 24.3% (120 out of 494) after treatment, reducing cases of light infections to 75.7% (374 out of 494). Conclusion: This study revealed that mass treatment with a single dose of praziquantel was not sufficient to significantly reduce the transmission of schistosomiasis. Further studies will need to evaluate whether multiple praziquantel treatments will be more therapeutically effective in limiting future incidences.


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