Epidemiology of Intestinal Schistosomiassis in Hayk Town, Northeast Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: The endemicity of intestinal and urinary schistosomiasis has long been established in Ethiopia, and new foci have also been continuously discovered. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the transmission and magnitude of schistosomiasis in Hayk area, Northeastern Ethiopia. Methods: A cross sectional parasitological study involving 384 school children was undertaken to determine the prevalence of intestinal schistosomiasis between January and March 2010 in two primary schools in Hayk area, Northeastern Ethiopia. Stool samples from 384 school children were processed for microscopic examination using Kato-Katz technique. Malacological survey and observation on human water contact activities were also carried out. As a malacological survey snails were checked for schistosome infection by exposing lab-bred mice to the cercariae shed from Biomphalaria pfeifferi en masse. Results: The prevalence and intensity of intestinal schistosomiasis among school children in Hayk Number 1 and Hayk Number 2 Primary Schools was found to be 45% and 161 epg, respectively. The prevalence of infection had relationship with age and gender. Males are more infected than females. Children in the age group 15-19 years had the highest infection rate, followed by 10-14 and 5-9 years age groups. Schistosome infection in Biomphalaria pfeifferi was 3.2%. Schistosome infection was also established in laboratory-bred mice and adult Schistosoma mansoni worms were harvested from exposed mice after 6 weeks of maintenance. Conclusion: The observed intestinal schistosomiasis with prevalence of 45% among young children, collection of schistosome infected Biomphalaria pfeifferi, and the establishment of lab infection in mice showed that transmission of intestinal schistosomiasis is taking place in the area. Since the community represents a high risk community, schistosomiasis control should be immediately put in place.