Volume 70, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To estimate their heritable component of risk for infection intensity and disease, we performed a community-based family study among an endemic population in coastal Kenya. Demography and family linkages were defined by house-to-house interviews, and infection prevalence and disease severity were assessed by standard parasitologic testing and by ultrasound. The total population was 4,408 among 912 households, with 241 identified pedigree-household groups. Although age- and sex-adjusted risk for greater infection intensity was clustered within households (odds ratio = 2.7), analysis of extended pedigree-household groups indicated a relatively low heritability score for this trait (h = 0.199), particularly after adjustment for common household exposure effects (adjusted h = 0.086). Statistical evidence was slightly stronger (h = 0.353) for familial clustering of bladder morbidity, with an adjusted h = 0.142 after accounting for household exposure factors. We conclude that among long-established populations of coastal Kenya, heritable variation in host susceptibility is low, and likely plays a minimal role in determining individual risk for infection or disease.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. WHO, 1993. The Control of Schistosomiasis: Second Report of the WHO Expert Committee. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  2. Sturrock RF, 2001. The schistosomes and their intermediate hosts. Mahmoud AAF, ed. Schistosomiasis. London: Imperial College Press, 7–83.
  3. el Kholy H, Arap Siongok TK, Koech D, Sturrock RF, Houser H, King CH, Mahmoud AA, 1989. Effects of borehole wells on water utilization in Schistosoma haematobium endemic communities in Coast Province, Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 41 : 212–219. [Google Scholar]
  4. Prata A, 2001. Disease in schistosomiasis mansoni in Brazil. Mahmoud AAF, ed. Schistosomiasis. London: Imperial College Press, 297–332.
  5. Ouma JH, El-Khoby T, Fenwick A, Blanton RE, 2001. Disease in schistosomiasis mansoni in Africa. Mahmoud AAF, ed. Schistosomiasis. London: Imperial College Press, 333–360.
  6. Smith JH, Christie JD, 1986. The pathobiology of Schistosoma haematobium infection in humans. Hum Pathol 17 : 333–345. [Google Scholar]
  7. Abel L, Demenais F, Prata A, Souza AE, Dessein A, 1991. Evidence for the segregation of a major gene in human susceptibility/resistance to infection by Schistosoma mansoni. Am J Hum Genet 48 : 959–970. [Google Scholar]
  8. Marquet S, Abel L, Hillaire D, Dessein H, Kalil J, Feingold J, Weissenbach J, Dessein AJ, 1996. Genetic localization of a locus controlling the intensity of infection by Schistosoma mansoni on chromosome 5q31–q33. Nat Genet 14 : 181–184. [Google Scholar]
  9. Marquet S, Abel L, Hillaire D, Dessein A, 1999. Full results of the genome-wide scan which localises a locus controlling the intensity of infection by Schistosoma mansoni on chromosome 5q31–q33. Eur J Hum Genet 7 : 88–97. [Google Scholar]
  10. Muller-Myhsok B, Stelma FF, Guisse-Sow F, Muntau B, Thye T, Burchard GD, Gryseels B, Horstmann RD, 1997. Further evidence suggesting the presence of a locus, on human chromosome 5q31–q33, influencing the intensity of infection with Schistosoma mansoni. Am J Hum Genet 61 : 452–454. [Google Scholar]
  11. Dessein AJ, Hillaire D, Elwali NE, Marquet S, Mohamed-Ali Q, Mirghani A, Henri S, Abdelhameed AA, Saeed OK, Magzoub MM, Abel L, 1999. Severe hepatic fibrosis in Schistosoma mansoni infection is controlled by a major locus that is closely linked to the interferon-gamma receptor gene. Am J Hum Genet 65 : 709–721. [Google Scholar]
  12. Rodrigues V Jr, Piper K, Couissinier-Paris P, Bacelar O, Dessein H, Dessein AJ, 1999. Genetic control of schistosome infections by the SM1 locus of the 5q31–q33 region is linked to differentiation of type 2 helper T lymphocytes. Infect Immun 67 : 4689–4692. [Google Scholar]
  13. Bethony J, Gazzinelli A, Lopes A, Pereira W, Alves-Oliveira L, Willams-Blangero S, Blangero J, Loverde P, Correa-Oliveira R, 2001. Genetic epidemiology of fecal egg excretion during Schistosoma mansoni infection in an endemic area in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 96 (Suppl): 49–55. [Google Scholar]
  14. Bethony J, Williams JT, Blangero J, Kloos H, Gazzinelli A, Soares-Filho B, Coelho L, Alves-Fraga L, Williams-Blangero S, Loverde PT, Correa-Oliveira R, 2002. Additive host genetic factors influence fecal egg excretion rates during Schistosoma mansoni infection in a rural area in Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 67 : 336–343. [Google Scholar]
  15. Williams-Blangero S, Blangero J, Bradley M, 1997. Quantitative genetic analysis of susceptibility to hookworm infection in a population from rural Zimbabwe. Hum Biol 69 : 201–208. [Google Scholar]
  16. Williams-Blangero S, Subedi J, Upadhayay RP, Manral DB, Rai DR, Jha B, Robinson ES, Blangero J, 1999. Genetic analysis of susceptibility to infection with Ascaris lumbricoides. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60 : 921–926. [Google Scholar]
  17. Williams-Blangero S, McGarvey ST, Subedi J, Wiest PM, Upadhayay RP, Rai DR, Jha B, Olds GR, Guanling W, Blangero J, 2002. Genetic component to susceptibility to Trichuris trichiura: evidence from two Asian populations. Genet Epidemiol 22 : 254–264. [Google Scholar]
  18. Muchiri EM, Ouma JH, King CH, 1996. Dynamics and control of Schistosoma haematobium transmission in Kenya: an overview of the Msambweni Project. Am J Trop Med Hyg 55 : 127–134. [Google Scholar]
  19. Gomm R, 1972. Harlots and bachelors: marital instability among the coastal Digo of Kenya. Man 7 : 95–113. [Google Scholar]
  20. Peters PAS, Kazura JW, 1987. Update on diagnostic methods for schistosomiasis. Mahmoud AAF, ed. Bailliere’s Clinical Tropical Medicine and Communicable Diseases, Schistosomiasis. London: Bailliere Tindall, 419–433.
  21. Savioli S, Hatz C, Dixon H, Kisumku UM, Mott KE, 1990. Control of morbidity due to Schistosoma haematobium on Pemba Island: egg excretion and hematuria as indicators of infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 43 : 289–295. [Google Scholar]
  22. Richter J, Hatz C, Campagne G, Bergquist NR, Jenkins JM, 2000. Ultrasound in Schistosomiasis: A Practical Guide to the Standardized Use of Ultrasonography for the Assessment of Schistosomiasis-Related Morbidity. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  23. King CH, 2002. Ultrasound monitoring of structural urinary tract disease in S. haematobium infection. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 97 (Suppl 1): 149–152. [Google Scholar]
  24. Dyke B, 1989. PEDSYS, PGL Tech. Report No. 2. San Antonio, TX: Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.
  25. Almasy L, Blangero J, 1998. Multipoint quantitative-trait linkage analysis in general pedigrees. Am J Hum Genet 62 : 1198–1211. [Google Scholar]
  26. Williams-Blangero S, Vandeberg JL, Blangero J, Teixeira AR, 1997. Genetic epidemiology of seropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi infection in rural Goias, Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 57 : 538–543. [Google Scholar]
  27. Woolhouse MEJ, 1998. Patterns in parasite epidemiology: The peak shift. Parasitol Today 14: 428–434. [Google Scholar]
  28. Zinn-Justin A, Marquet S, Hillaire D, Dessein A, Abel L, 2001. Genome search for additional human loci controlling infection levels by Schistosoma mansoni. Am J Trop Med Hyg 65 : 754–758. [Google Scholar]
  29. Chan L, Bundy DA, Kan SP, 1994. Aggregation and predisposition to Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura at the familial level. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 88 : 46–48. [Google Scholar]
  30. Chan L, Bundy DA, Kan SP, 1994. Genetic relatedness as a determinant of predisposition to Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura infection. Parasitology 108 : 77–80. [Google Scholar]
  31. King CL, Malhotra I, Mungai P, Wamachi A, Kioko J, Muchiri E, Ouma JH, 2001. Schistosoma haematobium-induced urinary tract morbidity correlates with increased tumor necrosis factor-alpha and diminished interleukin-10 production. J Infect Dis 184 : 1176–1182. [Google Scholar]
  32. Kariuki HC, Mbugua G, Magak P, Bailey JA, Muchiri EM, Thiongo FW, King CH, Butterworth AE, Ouma JH, Blanton RE, 2001. Prevalence and familial aggregation of schistosomal liver morbidity in Kenya: evaluation by new ultrasound criteria. J Infect Dis 183 : 960–966. [Google Scholar]
  33. Muchiri EM, 1991. Association of water contact activities and risk of reinfection for S. haematobium after drug treatment in the Msambweni Area, Kenya. Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Cleveland, OH: Case Western Reserve University, 1–121.
  34. Sturrock RF, Kinyanjui H, Thiongo FW, Tosha S, Ouma JH, King CH, Koech D, Siongok TK, Mahmoud AA, 1990. Chemotherapy-based control of schistosomiasis haematobia. 3. Snail studies monitoring the effect of chemotherapy on transmission in the Msambweni area, Kenya. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 84 : 257–261. [Google Scholar]
  35. Khoury MJ, Beaty TH, Cohen BH, 1993. Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 07 Aug 2003
  • Accepted : 24 Sep 2003

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error