Geohelminths

Geohelmintiasis

Date: 
09/10/2017
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Background

Recommendations for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) control give a key role to deworming of school and pre-school age children with albendazole or mebendazole; which might be insufficient to achieve adequate control, particularly against Strongyloides stercoralis. The impact of preventive chemotherapy (PC) against STH morbidity is still incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a community-based program with albendazole and ivermectin in a high transmission setting for S. stercoralis and hookworm.

Methodology

Community-based pragmatic trial conducted in Tartagal, Argentina; from 2012 to 2015. Six communities (5070 people) were enrolled for community-based PC with albendazole and ivermectin. Two communities (2721 people) were re-treated for second and third rounds. STH prevalence, anemia and malnutrition were explored through consecutive surveys. Anthropometric assessment of children, stool analysis, complete blood count and NIE-ELISA serology for S. stercoralis were performed.

Principal findings

STH infection was associated with anemia and stunting in the baseline survey that included all communities and showed a STH prevalence of 47.6% (almost exclusively hookworm and S. stercoralis). Among communities with multiple interventions, STH prevalence decreased from 62% to 23% (p<0.001) after the first PC; anemia also diminished from 52% to 12% (p<0.001). After two interventions S. stercoralis seroprevalence declined, from 51% to 14% (p<0.001) and stunting prevalence decreased, from 19% to 12% (p = 0.009).

Conclusions

Hookworm’ infections are associated with anemia in the general population and nutritional impairment in children. S. stercoralis is also associated with anemia. Community-based deworming with albendazole and ivermectin is effective for the reduction of STH prevalence and morbidity in communities with high prevalence of hookworm and S. stercoralis.

Date: 
30/09/2015
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are a public health problem in resource-limited settings worldwide. Chronic STH infection impairs optimum learning and productivity, contributing to the perpetuation of the poverty-disease cycle. Regular massive drug administration (MDA) is the cardinal recommendation for its control; along with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. The impact of joint WASH interventions on STH infections has been reported; studies on the independent effect of WASH components are needed to contribute with the improvement of current recommendations for the control of STH. The aim of this study is to assess the association of lacking access to water and sanitation with STH infections, taking into account the differences in route of infection among species and the availability of adequate water and sanitation at home.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

Cross-sectional study, conducted in Salta province, Argentina. During a deworming program that enrolled 6957 individuals; 771 were randomly selected for stool/serum sampling for parasitological and serological diagnosis of STH. Bivariate stratified analysis was performed to explore significant correlations between risk factors and STH infections grouped by mechanism of entry as skin-penetrators (hookworms and Strongyloides stercoralis) vs. orally-ingested (Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura). After controlling for potential confounders, unimproved sanitation was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of skin-penetrators (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.9; 95% CI: 2.6-5.9). Unimproved drinking water was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of orally-ingested (aOR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3-3.7).

CONCLUSIONS:

Lack of safe water and proper sanitation pose a risk of STH infections that is distinct according to the route of entry to the human host used by each of the STH species. Interventions aimed to improve water and sanitation access should be highlighted in the recommendations for the control of STH.

Date: 
10/02/2015
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Traditional faecal-based methods have poor sensitivity for the detection of S. stercoralis, therefore are inadequate for post-treatment evaluation of infected patients who should be carefully monitored to exclude the persistence of the infection. In a previous study, we demonstrated high accuracy of five serology tests for the screening and diagnosis of strongyloidiasis. Aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of the same five tests for the follow up of patients infected with S. stercoralis.

METHODS:

Retrospective study on anonymized, cryo-preserved samples available at the Centre for Tropical Diseases (Negrar, Verona, Italy). Samples were collected before and from 3 to 12 months after treatment. The samples were tested with two commercially-available ELISA tests (IVD, Bordier), two techniques based on a recombinant antigen (NIE-ELISA and NIE-LIPS) and one in-house IFAT. The results of each test were evaluated both in relation to the results of fecal examination and to those of a composite reference standard (classifying as positive a sample with positive stools and/or at least three positive serology tests). The associations between the independent variables age and time and the dependent variable value of serological test (for all five tests), were analyzed by linear mixed-effects regression model.

RESULTS:

A high proportion of samples demonstrated for each test a seroreversion or a relevant decline (optical density/relative light units halved or decrease of at least two titers for IFAT) at follow up, results confirmed by the linear mixed effects model that showed a trend to seroreversion over time for all tests. In particular, IVD-ELISA (almost 90% samples demonstrated relevant decline) and IFAT (almost 87%) had the best performance. Considering only samples with a complete negativization, NIE-ELISA showed the best performance (72.5% seroreversion).

CONCLUSIONS:

Serology is useful for the follow up of patients infected with S. stercoralis and determining test of cure.

Date: 
09/08/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Robust reference values for fecal egg count reduction (FECR) rates of the most widely used anthelmintic drugs in preventive chemotherapy (PC) programs for controlling soil-transmitted helminths (STHs; Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm) are still lacking. However, they are urgently needed to ensure detection of reduced efficacies that are predicted to occur due to growing drug pressure. Here, using a standardized methodology, we assessed the FECR rate of a single oral dose of mebendazole (MEB; 500 mg) against STHs in six trials in school children in different locations around the world. Our results are compared with those previously obtained for similarly conducted trials of a single oral dose of albendazole (ALB; 400 mg).

METHODOLOGY:

The efficacy of MEB, as assessed by FECR, was determined in six trials involving 5,830 school children in Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Vietnam. The efficacy of MEB was compared to that of ALB as previously assessed in 8,841 school children in India and all the above-mentioned study sites, using identical methodologies.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The estimated FECR rate [95% confidence interval] of MEB was highest for A. lumbricoides (97.6% [95.8; 99.5]), followed by hookworm (79.6% [71.0; 88.3]). For T. trichiura, the estimated FECR rate was 63.1% [51.6; 74.6]. Compared to MEB, ALB was significantly more efficacious against hookworm (96.2% [91.1; 100], p<0.001) and only marginally, although significantly, better against A. lumbricoides infections (99.9% [99.0; 100], p = 0.012), but equally efficacious for T. trichiura infections (64.5% [44.4; 84.7], p = 0.906).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

A minimum FECR rate of 95% for A. lumbricoides, 70% for hookworm, and 50% for T. trichiura is expected in MEB-dependent PC programs. Lower FECR results may indicate the development of potential drug resistance.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01087099 NCT01379326.

Date: 
01/01/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

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.

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