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EVALUATION OF AN IMPROVED APPROACH USING RESIDENCES OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS-POSITIVE SCHOOL CHILDREN TO IDENTIFY CARRIERS IN AN AREA OF LOW ENDEMICITY

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  • 1 Laboratory of Intestinal Helminthiasis, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Medical Anthropology, and Laboratory Health Education, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, René Rachou Research Center, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Department of Statistics, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

School children were used as indicators for the identification of schistosomiasis-positive family members in a area of low endemicity. This study was designed to improve current schistosomiasis control programs by applying this strategy to identify schistosomiasis-positive individuals in a more efficient way. The initial prevalence among school children was 8.6%. However, the prevalence among the family members of these school children increased to 15.5%. In contrast to these findings the prevalence in family members of schistosomiasis-negative school children was 3.8%. Although the applied methodology showed a relatively low sensitivity (50.0%), the high negative predictive value (87.7%) indicates that a few positive family members of school children with a negative stool result will be missed. This shows that this method of evaluation could be a strategy for a more efficient and cheaper identification of schistosomiasis-positive individuals in areas of low endemicity.

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