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REDUCED SERUM CONCENTRATIONS OF RETINOL AND α-TOCOPHEROL AND HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF HYDROPEROXIDES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH COMMUNITY LEVELS OF S. MANSONI INFECTION AND SCHISTOSOMAL PERIPORTAL FIBROSIS IN ETHIOPIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN

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  • 1 Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Institute for International Health, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Ullevål University Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases, Centre for Imported and Tropical Diseases, Oslo, Norway; Sorlandet Hospital HF/Agder University College, Kristiansand, Norway; Institute for Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

To study the relationship between micronutrient malnutrition and schistosomiasis mansoni, a cross-sectional study was undertaken involving 421 schoolchildren (mean age 12.6 years; 333 from schistosomiasis mansoni–endemic villages (Workemado and Sille) and 88 non-endemic controls from Sheno). Prevalence of schistosomiasis mansoni infection in Workemado and Sille was comparable (90.6% versus 95%, respectively), and prevalence of PPF in Workemado was significantly higher than in Sille (7.0% versus 0.6%, P < 0.001). Compared with non-endemic controls, serum retinol concentrations were significantly lower and hydroperoxides were significantly higher in subjects from schistosomiasis mansoni–endemic areas. Furthermore, serum α-tocopherol concentrations in subjects from an area with high prevalence of PPF were significantly reduced while the concentrations in subjects from an area with low prevalence of PPF were comparable to the levels found in non-endemic healthy controls. In conclusion, micronutrient malnutrition and oxidative stress are associated with Schistosoma mansoni infection and levels of schistosomal PPF.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Dr. Nega Berhe, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Telephone: +251-11-2763091, Fax: +251-11-2755296, E-mail: nega_berhe@yahoo.com.
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