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An outbreak of intestinal schistosomiasis, alongside increasing urogenital schistosomiasis prevalence, in primary school children on the shoreline of Lake Malawi, Mangochi District, Malawi

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Kayuni, Seke, O'Ferrall, Angus, Baxter, Hamish, Hesketh, Josie, Mainga, Bright, Lally, David, Alharbi, Mohammad, LaCourse, James ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9261-7136, Juziwelo, Lazarus, Musaya, Janelisa, Makaula, Peter and Stothard, Russell ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9370-3420 (2020) 'An outbreak of intestinal schistosomiasis, alongside increasing urogenital schistosomiasis prevalence, in primary school children on the shoreline of Lake Malawi, Mangochi District, Malawi'. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, Vol 9, Issue 121.

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Abstract

Background: Intestinal schistosomiasis was not considered endemic in Lake Malawi until 14 November 2017 when populations of Biomphalaria pfeifferi were first reported; in May 2018, emergence of intestinal schistosomiasis was confirmed. This emergence was in spite of ongoing control of urogenital schistosomiasis by preventive chemotherapy. Our current study sought to ascertain whether intestinal schistosomiasis is transitioning from emergence to outbreak, to judge if stepped-up control interventions are needed.
Methods: During late-May 2019, three cross-sectional surveys of primary school children for schistosomiasis were conducted using a combination of rapid diagnostic tests, parasitological examinations and applied morbidity-markers; 1) schistosomiasis dynamics were assessed at Research Article IDOP Samama (n = 80) and Mchoka (n = 80) schools, where Schistosoma mansoni was first reported, 2) occurrence of S. mansoni was investigated at two non-sampled schools, Mangochi Orphan Education and Training (MOET) (n = 60) and Koche (n = 60) schools, where B. pfeifferi was nearby, and 3) rapid mapping of schistosomiasis, and B. pfeifferi, conducted across a further 8 shoreline schools (n = 240). After data collection, univariate analyses and Chi-square testing were performed, followed by binary logistic regression using generalized linear models, to investigate epidemiological associations.
Results: In total, 520 children from 12 lakeshore primary schools were examined, mean prevalence of S. mansoni by ‘positive’ urine circulating cathodic antigen (CCA)-dipsticks was 31.5% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 27.5–35.5). Upon comparisons of infection prevalence in May 2018, significant increases at Samama (Relative Risk (RR) = 1.7, 95% CI: 33 1.4–2.2) and Mchoka (RR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.7–4.3) schools were observed. Intestinal schistosomiasis was confirmed at MOET (18.3%) and Koche (35.0%) schools, and in all rapid mapping schools, ranging from 10.0% to 56.7%. Several populations of B. pfeifferi were confirmed, with two new eastern shoreline locations noted. Mean prevalence of urogenital schistosomiasis was 24.0% (95% CI: 20.3–27.7).
Conclusions: We notify that intestinal schistosomiasis, once considered non-endemic in Lake Malawi, is now transitioning from emergence to outbreak. Once control interventions can resume after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suspensions, we recommend stepped-up preventive chemotherapy, with increased community-access to treatments, alongside renewed efforts in appropriate environmental control.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 810 Schistosomiasis
WI Digestive System > WI 100 General works
WJ Urogenital System > WJ 100 General works
WS Pediatrics > WS 100 General works
WS Pediatrics > Diseases of Children and Adolescents > By System > WS 310 Digestive system
WS Pediatrics > Diseases of Children and Adolescents > By System > WS 320 Urogenital system
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Education
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00736-w
Depositing User: Cathy Waldron
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2020 18:45
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 18:45
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/15585

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