Prevalence of Intestinal Protozoan Parasites and Associated Risk Factors among School Children in Merhabete District, Central EthiopiaRead the full article
Journal of Parasitology Research publishes papers in all areas of basic and applied parasitology, including host-parasite relationships, parasitic diseases, disease vectors, and the social and economic issues around the impact of parasites.
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The Activity of Plant Crude Extracts against Schistosoma mansoni
Background. Schistosoma mansoni remains a significant health problem in low-income countries. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only drug available to treat schistosomiasis, and PZQ resistance is a potential threat towards control of the disease although PZQ is currently effective against all species of schistosomes. Moreover, PZQ is less efficacious against larval stages. In response to these challenges, multiple in vivo/in vitro studies evaluated the anti-S. mansoni activity of crude plant extracts in a bid for novel drug(s). However, these studies appear fragmented and patchy. This systematic review explored the extent of such studies in the past 11 years (2010-2020). Methods. A systematic web search analysis and review of the literature on crude plant extracts tested against S. mansoni was done. Data from 17 articles meeting eligibility criteria were extracted and analyzed. Forty-three plant species have been tested by the 17 studies. The leaves, barks, stems, flowers, rhizomes, and roots of the plants as well as the whole plant part were used for the experiments. Conclusion. Nearly all of the plants significantly reduced schistosome egg output, killed adult worms, and improved liver histology and function. Further studies are required to assess the therapeutic potential of more promising plant species.
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices on Urinary Schistosomiasis among Primary Schoolchildren in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa
Background. Schistosomiasis remains a public health concern in South Africa (SA), with the highest prevalence of infection found among schoolchildren under the age of 15 years. Knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) studies on schistosomiasis among schoolchildren under the age of 15 years are lacking in the study area. The study therefore assessed primary schoolchildren in Grades 4–7 to determine their knowledge regarding schistosomiasis in the various ages represented in these grades. Methods. The study employed a quantitative descriptive, cross-sectional survey research design approach. A structured, close-ended, Likert-scale, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 458 learners in Grades 4 to 7 aged from 9 to 16 years. Data were analysed using Statistica version 13 software. Bivariate and multivariate techniques were further used to analyse and describe the data and significant associations at were further interrogated using Cohen’s and Cramér’s , to determine the practical significance. Results. Of the 458 learners who completed the questionnaire, 248 (54%) acknowledged having heard of schistosomiasis previously. There was a positive correlation between knowledge and attitude (0.779). The KAP scores were calculated as a percentage ranging between 0% and 100%, and this range was split into five equal width intervals 0–19%, 20–39%, 40–60%, 61–80%, and 81–100%. For knowledge, 210 (46%) of the participants obtained a score in the interval 0–19%. For attitudes, 237 (52%) of the participants obtained a score in the interval 0–19%. Therefore, the overall knowledge and attitudes among the study participants towards schistosomiasis were poor. There was a significant difference (, medium) between male and female participants relating to their practices. It was observed that a high percentage, 69 (15%) of males reported to swimming in slow-moving water compared to a significantly lower percentage, 9 (5%) of females. Furthermore, 23% of the participants reported that there was a river on the way to school. Conclusion. The study revealed that there was a positive correlation between knowledge and attitude. The overall knowledge and attitudes on schistosomiasis were poor. Furthermore, a gender-related difference based on practices emerged significant in the study. The findings are thus valuable in designing effective and targeted schistosomiasis control programmes.
Detection of Acute and Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection among Women with History of Abortion in the Southwest of Iran
Background. Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is one of the most common intracellular protozoan parasites, which can infect humans and a wide range of mammals and birds. The current study is aimed at investigating the occurrence of T. gondii infection in women with a history of abortion in Khuzestan, Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 480 women with an abortion history, as well as 200 pregnant women with a normal delivery, were examined in this study. The blood, placenta, and umbilical cord blood samples were assessed by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and nested-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Results. Based on the results of ELISA assay, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis was 30.83% in women with a history of abortion (25.62% with T. gondii IgG and 5.20% with T. gondii IgM). According to the IgG avidity test, 60.16% of IgG-positive samples showed high avidity, while 27.64% showed low avidity. On the other hand, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in women with a normal delivery was 23% (21.5% with T. gondii IgG and 1.5% with T. gondii IgM). According to the IgG avidity test, 81.39% of these women showed high avidity, while only 4.65% showed low avidity. Based on the nested-PCR method, T. gondii DNA was detected in 14.18% of blood samples, 4.69% of placental samples, and 1.34% of umbilical cord samples, collected from 148 seropositive women with a history of abortion. Besides, using this method, the parasite DNA was identified in 4.34% of blood samples, collected from 46 seropositive women with a normal delivery, but not in any of the umbilical cord or placenta samples. Conclusion. The present results showed that T. gondii infection contributes to abortion in Khuzestan Province, Iran. Therefore, it is essential to investigate toxoplasmosis in pregnant women, especially in those who are seronegative, using molecular and serological methods and inform them about their disease and the associated risks.
Assessing the Performance of CareStart™ Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests in Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background. While rapid diagnostic tests are an alternative diagnostic tests for microscopy in the diagnosis of malaria in rural settings, their performance has been inconsistent. Performance of rapid diagnostic tests might be affected by manufacturing process, transportation and storage, parasitemia level, and skill of personnel who perform the tests. Therefore, periodic evaluation of the local field performance of rapid diagnostic tests is mandatory in order to make early corrections in case of decreased performance. Methods. A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted from January to May 2020 among 257 malaria-suspected patients attending selected health centers in Bahir Dar Zuria district. Capillary blood was collected from each participant and tested for Plasmodium infection by CareStart™ rapid diagnostic test kit and thin and thick blood film microscopy. Data were analyzed using statistical software for social sciences version 20 and MedCalc software version 19.3. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and kappa value were calculated to evaluate the performance of rapid diagnostic tests against microscopy. Results. Among 257 study participants, 47 (18.3%) were tested positive for Plasmodium infection by at least one of the diagnostic methods. Rapid diagnostic tests revealed 3 false positive and 3 false negative results. The sensitivity and specificity of CareStart Malaria Pf/Pv Combo test were 93.2% and 98.6%, respectively (). Conclusion. CareStart™ rapid diagnostic test has comparable performance with microscopy for malaria diagnosis. We recommend continued use of CareStart Malaria Pf/Pv Combo test at health posts in Ethiopia where microscopy is not available.
Trend of Soil-Transmitted Helminths in Ethiopian Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2000-2018)
Background. Ethiopia is one of the tropical countries with a heavy burden of soil-transmitted helminths. As a result, the nation has been implementing mass drug administration, water, sanitation, and hygiene and health extension programs to control those parasites. Hence, updated data about the prevalence and trend of parasites over time has a pivotal role to assess the success of existing control programs. Methods. Studies conducted between 2000 and 2018 were searched from PubMed, Google Scholar, and local journals for systematic reviews and meta-analysis following the PRISMA guideline and checklists. Eligible studies were selected based on preset inclusion and exclusion criteria. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale in meta-analysis. Heterogeneity between studies was assessed using the Cochran test and test statistics based on the random effect model. Comprehensive meta-analysis (CMA 2.0) was used to calculate the pooled prevalence, and metaregression was run to assess the trend of parasite prevalence over time. Results. Thirty-eight studies recruiting 16,266 participants were included in the review. The pooled prevalence of intestinal parasites was 52.0% (95% CI: 44.4-59.5). Amhara region was with the highest prevalence (60.3%; 95% CI: 50.1-69.6). Among soil-transmitted helminths, Ascaris lumbricoides (11.2%; 95% CI: 8.4-14.8) was with the highest pooled prevalence followed by hookworms (10.4%; 95% CI: 7.9-13.7) and Trichuris trichiura (3.6%; 95% CI: 2.4-5.4). Metaregression analysis revealed that all soil-transmitted helminths did not show a significantly decreasing trend over time (). Conclusion. Despite various control efforts having been made, soil-transmitted helminths are of high distribution, and their prevalence is not significantly decreasing in Ethiopia. Hence, other control approaches like community-led sanitation should be integrated with mass drug administration to achieve the national goal of soil-transmitted helminth elimination by 2025.
Giant Amoebic Liver Abscess: A Rare Diagnosis in a Rural Setting of Sub-Saharan Africa
Background. Extraintestinal amoebiasis is an uncommon complication of Entamoeba histolytica infection, occurring in about 5-10% of patient. Prompt diagnosis and management is essential to prevent complications. However, diagnosis and management in resource-limited settings is very challenging owing to limited diagnostic tools and nonspecific clinical symptoms. Therefore, our case report underscores the role of incisive clinical evaluation, basic investigation, and nonsurgical management of giant amoebic abscess in resource-limited settings. Case Presentation. A 13-year-old female Cameroonian presented with subacute onset of upper abdominal pain, high fever, and chest pain for one week. Before presentation, she had been on treatment at a local traditional practitioner during which her symptoms worsen. After clinical evaluation and basic investigation, she was diagnosed with a giant amoebic liver abscess. She was resuscitated and placed on nonsurgical management. Follow-up after 1 month was significant for complete recovery. Conclusion. Amoebic liver abscess is a rare complication of Entamoeba histolytica infection with devastating complications. The diagnosis of this disease requires high index of suspicion in resource-limited settings. Good clinical evaluation and timely nonsurgical therapy can provide recovery to some patients.