Young Adults in Endemic Areas: An Untreated Group in Need of School-Based Preventive Chemotherapy for Schistosomiasis Control and Elimination
Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu 40100, Kenya
School of Public Health, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Maseno University, Kisumu 40100 Kenya
Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi 56100, Kenya
Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA
Department of Pathology, Kenyatta University, Nairobi 00609, Kenya
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Egerton University, Nakuru 20115, Kenya
Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3030100
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
Parasitologic surveys of young adults in college and university settings are not commonly done, even in areas known to be endemic for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths. We have done a survey of 291 students and staff at the Kisumu National Polytechnic in Kisumu, Kenya, using the stool microscopy Kato-Katz (KK) method and the urine point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen (POC-CCA) test. Based on three stools/two KK slides each, in the 208 participants for whom three consecutive stools were obtained, Schistosoma mansoni prevalence was 17.8%. When all 291 individuals were analyzed based on the first stool, as done by the national neglected tropical disease (NTD) program, and one urine POC-CCA assay (n = 276), the prevalence was 13.7% by KK and 23.2% by POC-CCA. Based on three stools, 2.5% of 208 participants had heavy S. mansoni infections (≥400 eggs/gram feces), with heavy S. mansoni infections making up 13.5% of the S. mansoni cases. The prevalence of the soil-transmitted helminths (STH: Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm) by three stools was 1.4%, 3.1%, and 4.1%, respectively, and by the first stool was 1.4%, 2.4% and 1.4%, respectively. This prevalence and intensity of infection with S. mansoni in a college setting warrants mass drug administration with praziquantel. This population of young adults is ‘in school’ and is both approachable and worthy of inclusion in national schistosomiasis control and elimination programs.