High prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites among children and adolescents in Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa: no difference between patients and age-matched controls

Sebastian Leicht von Huth, Poul-Erik Kofoed, Michael Kemp, Uffe Holmskov

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa, is among the poorest countries in the world. Although previous health interventions have improved childhood mortality and –morbidity dramatically, gastrointestinal parasitic infections remain a major health concern. The prevalence and impact of these infections is relatively unknown.
In the present field study, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites among children and adolescents in the capital of Guinea-Bissau, and correlate these findings to age, symptoms and household size.
Methods: Patients (1-15 years old) and matched controls were included between August 2015 and February 2017 at Bandim Health Centre. Questionnaires including personal data, symptoms, sanitation (access to toilet and fresh water) and household size were recorded. Fecal samples were examined locally by trained technicians, using conventional light microscopy. Correlations were calculated using multivariate regression.
Results: In 559 patients (mean age 6.3 years, range 1-14 years) and 619 controls (mean age 6.7 years, range 1-15 years) with accessible microscopy results, we found a rate of positive findings in 279 (49.9%) patients and 324 (52.3%) controls. Symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, fever) were significantly more prevalent among patients than cases, but the rate of positive microscopy findings did not differ statistically between the two groups. Distribution of different species did not vary significantly between patients and controls. Prevalence was dominated by Giardia lamblia (29.9% in patients, 35.0% in controls), Entamoeba spp. (38.0% in patients, 37.2% in controls) and Ancylostoma duodenale (14.03% in patients, 10.1% in controls). Neither symptoms nor household size correlates with the presence of gastrointestinal parasites. However, the likelihood of being infected by any gastrointestinal parasite correlates with poor hygiene standards.
Conclusion: We find a surprisingly high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites among both symptomatic, healthcare-seeking children and matched controls. We find no correlation between infections and symptoms, which may illustrate the high prevalence among the controls.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event34th Annual Meeting of the Nordic Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases - Nordic Hous, Thorshavn, Faroe Islands
Duration: 31. Aug 20173. Sep 2017
Conference number: 34
http://nscmid2017.com/

Conference

Conference34th Annual Meeting of the Nordic Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Number34
LocationNordic Hous
CountryFaroe Islands
CityThorshavn
Period31/08/201703/09/2017
Internet address

Cite this

Leicht von Huth, S., Kofoed, P-E., Kemp, M., & Holmskov, U. (2017). High prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites among children and adolescents in Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa: no difference between patients and age-matched controls. Poster session presented at 34th Annual Meeting of the Nordic Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Thorshavn, Faroe Islands.