SCHISTOSOMA JAPONICUM AND OCCULT BLOOD LOSS IN ENDEMIC VILLAGES IN LEYTE, THE PHILIPPINES

HEMAL K. KANZARIA International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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LUZ P. ACOSTA International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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GRETCHEN C. LANGDON International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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DARIA L. MANALO International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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REMIGIO M. OLVEDA International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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STEPHEN T. McGARVEY International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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JONATHAN D. KURTIS International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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JENNIFER F. FRIEDMAN International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila, The Philippines

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Schistosoma japonicum has been related to anemia, but the mechanisms mediating this relationship remain unresolved. The primary objective of this study was to assess the role of occult blood loss in mediating S. japonicum-associated anemia after adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), and other helminth infections. The secondary objective was to identify intensity categories of risk for occult blood loss for Trichuris and hookworm after adjustment for the presence of other helminth infections. The role of occult blood loss in mediating S. japonicum-associated anemia was studied cross-sectionally in 729 individuals 8–30 years old in Leyte, The Philippines. Three stool specimens were examined in duplicate for helminth eggs. Hemoglobin, fecal occult blood loss, and anemia were measured and related to the presence and intensity of helminths. Multivariate models were made to adjust for confounding by other helminths and SES. In multivariate models, hemoglobin significantly decreased with increasing infection intensity of S. japonicum, hookworm, and T. trichuria (P < 0.0031, P < 0.0001, and P < 0.0001, respectively). Individuals with higher intensities S. japonicum and T. trichuria were significantly more likely to be fecal occult positive (odds ratio [OR] = 3.54; P = 0.008 and OR = 2.68; P = 0.013, respectively), although this was not true for individuals with hookworm. Additionally, individuals with higher intensities of S. japonicum, hookworm, and T. trichuria were all more likely to be anemic (OR = 3.7, P = 0.0002; OR = 5.3, P = 0.0003; and OR = 1.6, P = 0.021, respectively). It is likely that occult blood loss plays a role only at heavier intensity S. japonicum infections and some other mechanism, such as anemia of inflammation, may be contributing to anemia.

Author Notes

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