Epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni Infection in a Recently Exposed Community in Northern Senegal

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  • Laboratory of Parasitology, Medical Faculty, University of Leiden, Service Regional de la Sante, St. Louis/Richard-Toll, Department of Medical Parasitology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, The Netherlands

The epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni infection was investigated in Ndombo, a village in the epicenter of a very recent outbreak of schistosomiasis in northern Senegal. Repeated fecal egg counts and antigen detection in urine and serum were carried out in a random population sample (n = 422). Eggs were found in 91% of the subjects, with 41% excreting > 1,000 eggs per gram of feces (epg) (mean egg load of 646 epg). The prevalence was almost 100% in groups greater than five years of age. In spite of the supposed absence of acquired immunity, intensities of infection decreased strongly in adults. Antigen detection confirmed the high prevalence and intensity of infection and the age-related distribution of worm loads. The emergence of this new focus is probably due to the ecologic impact of newly built dams and the extension of irrigation projects in the Senegal basin.

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