Schistosoma mansoni, causing intestinal schistosomiasis, is widely distributed in Ethiopia and new transmission foci are continually reported. Here we report new transmission sites and prevalence of S.mansoni infection among school children in Yachi areas, southwestern Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among school children of Yachi Yisa and Yachi Efo elementary schools, southwestern Ethiopia, from April 2017 to June 2017. Three hundred seventeen school children aged six to 15 years were randomly selected to provide stool specimens for helminth infection examination by Kato-Katz and formol-ether concentration techniques. Snail survey was carried out to assess schistosome infection in Biomphalaria pfeifferi. Laboratory bred mice were also exposed to schistosome cercariae shed by B. pfeifferi en masse for definite identification of Schistosoma species.
From the 317 stool specimens examined using double Kato-Katz thick smear and single formol-ether concentration techniques, 224 (70.7%) were found positive for at least one intestinal helminth species. The most prevalent parasite was S. mansoni (42.9%) followed by Trichuris trichiura (34.1%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (14.2%). The prevalence of S. mansoni infection was significantly higher among the children attending Yachi Yisa School (49.4%) than those in Yachi Efo School (35.6%) (P = 0.002). The study also revealed that there was a significantly higher prevalence of S.mansoni infection among males (51.2%) than females (33.1%) (P < 0.001). However, the prevalence of S.mansoni infection was not significantly associated with age categories (P = 0.839). B. pfeifferi snails infected with schistosomes were collected from the water bodies found in the study area. After six weeks post exposure, adult S. mansoni worms were harvested from the mesenteric veins of laboratory bred mice.
The study revealed establishment of new S. mansoni transmission foci and moderate prevalence of schistosomiasis in Yachi areas. Hence, treatment of all school-age children once every two years is recommended. Snail control and non-specific control approaches including provision of clean water supply and health education should also complement mass drug administration of praziquantel.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.