Risk Factors and Spatial Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni Infection among Primary School Children in Mbita District, Western Kenya
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Background:An increasing risk of Schistosoma mansoni infection has been observed around Lake Victoria, western Kenya since the 1970s. Understanding local transmission dynamics of schistosomiasis is crucial in curtailing increased risk of infection.Methodology/Principal Findings:We carried out a cross sectional study on a population of 310 children from eight primary schools. Overall, a total of 238 (76.8%) children were infected with S. mansoni, while seven (2.3%) had S. haematobium. The prevalence of hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides were 6.1%, 5.2% and 2.3%, respectively. Plasmodium falciparum was the only malaria parasite detected (12.0%). High local population density within a 1 km radius around houses was identified as a major independent risk factor of S. mansoni infection. A spatial cluster of high infection risk was detected around the Mbita causeway following adjustment for population density and other potential risk factors.Conclusions/Significance:Population density was shown to be a major factor fuelling schistosome infection while individual socio-economic factors appeared not to affect the infection risk. The high-risk cluster around the Mbita causeway may be explained by the construction of an artificial pathway that may cause increased numbers of S. mansoni host snails through obstruction of the waterway. This construction may have, therefore, a significant negative impact on the health of the local population, especially school-aged children who frequently come in contact with lake water.
- PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 8(7), e2991, 2014-07-24
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