Socías ME

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A systematic review of surveys performed between 1980 and 2011 (published in MEDLINE/Pubmed and/or LILACS indexed journals, available in the baseline data from a Mass Deworming National Program (MDNP, 2005) was used to identify the prevalence, distribution and detection of risk areas for soil transmitted helminth infections (STH) in Argentina. We found 310 publications in the database using the pre-defined key-words (medical subject headings) for research purposes. Only 24 articles with 26 surveillance sites in 8 provinces and a total of 5495 surveyed individuals fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Frequency rates for STH had a wide range: Ascaris lumbricoides: 0-67%, hookworms: 0-90%, Trichuris trichiura: 0-24.6 and Strongyloides stercoralis: 0-83%. The estimated combined incidence varied from 0.8% to 88.6%. Baseline surveys from the MDNP reporting on 1943 children from 12 provinces confirmed the heterogeneity, with combined STH frequency rates ranging from 0 to 42.7%. Surveys included in this review showed that the distribution of STH in Argentina is not homogeneous, with areas of high incidence (> 20%) in the northeastern and northwestern provinces where mass deworming activities would be highly beneficial. In several surveys, the high overall incidence was mostly due to hookworms and S. stercoralis, a situation to be considered when selecting diagnostic and therapeutic control strategies. The scarcity or absence of data from various provinces and the availability of less than 8000 surveyed individuals should be considered.