Background: Helminths and protozoa infections pose a great burden especially in developing countries, due to morbidity caused by both acute and chronic infection. The aim of our survey was to analyze the intestinal parasitic burden in communities from Mwanza region, Tanzania. Methods: Subjects (n= 251) from four villages on the South of Lake Victoria have been analyzed for intestinal parasites with direct smear (DS), formol-ether concentration method (FECM) and the newly developed Mini-FLOTAC technique; urinary schistosomiasis was also assessed in a subsample (n= 151); symptoms were registered and correlation between clinic and infections was calculated by chi-squared test and logistical regression. Results: Out of the subjects screened for intestinal and for urinary parasites, 87% (218/251) were found positive for any infection, 69% (174/251) carried a helminthic and 67% (167/251) a protozoan infection, almost half of them had a double or triple infection. The most common helminths were hookworms, followed by Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium. Among protozoa, the most common was Entamoeba coli followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar and Giardia intestinalis. Mini-FLOTAC detected a number of helminth infections (61.7%) higher than FECM (38.6%) and DS (17.9%). Some positive associations with abdominal symptoms were found and previous treatment was negatively correlated with infection. Conclusion: Despite the limited size of the examined population the current study indicates a high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection in Bukumbi area, Tanzania, and Mini-FLOTAC showed to be a promising diagnostic tool for helminth infections. This high parasitic burden calls for starting a regular deworming programme and other preventive interventions in schools and in the community.
- Intestinal parasitic infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases