A survey of the Intestinal Nematodes of Bushmen in Namibia

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  • Research Institute for Diseases in a Tropical Environment of the South African Medical Research Council, University of the Witwatersrand, Department of National Health and Welfare, Nelspruit, South Africa

Studies in Namibia revealed prevalence rates of 63% for hookworm and 35% for Trichuris in 31 Bushmen, 4–65 years of age, who were encamped in the Kaudom Game Reserve. The study also revealed prevalence rates of 85% for hookworm, 25% for Strongyloides, and 1% for Trichuris in 103 children, 6–17 years of age, attending 5 schools in Bushmanland. The 25% Strongyloides infection rate is one of the highest prevalences recorded in southern Africa. The Trichuris infections in the Kaudom group appeared to be autochthonous, and this population did not harbor Strongyloides. Regular contact with pans in summer and boreholes at any time probably facilitated the acquisition of infections in wet and fecally polluted sites. Thirteen spurious Physaloptera infections were recorded.

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