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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 796820, 8 pages
Research Article

Risk Factors for Asthma in a Helminth Endemic Area in Bahia, Brazil

1Serviço de Imunologia, Hospital Universitário Professor Edgard Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40110-160 Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade do Estado da Bahia, 41.150-000 Salvador, BA, Brazil
3Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Doenças Tropicais (INCT-DT/CNPq), 40110-160 Salvador, BA, Brazil
4Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, 40290-000 Salvador, BA, Brazil
5Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40.170-115 Salvador, BA, Brazil

Received 14 April 2012; Revised 16 June 2012; Accepted 5 July 2012

Academic Editor: William Harnett

Copyright © 2012 Luciana S. Cardoso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Protective factors associated with atopy or asthma in rural areas include socioeconomic level, overcrowding, and helminth infection. However, little epidemiological information was originated from schistosomiasis areas. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with asthma in a schistosomiasis endemic area. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographics, socioeconomic, and environmental features. The ISAAC questionnaire was used to identify individuals with asthma. Parasitological exam was done in all participants and skin prick test to aeroallergens in all asthmatics. Prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection was 57.4% and Ascaris lumbricoides, 30.8%. Asthma was found in 13.1% of the population, and 35.1% of them had a positive SPT. Active and passive smoking was positively associated with asthma, whereas A. lumbricoides was negatively associated. In a schistosomiasis hyperendemic region, current infection with A. lumbricoides is protective against asthma. However, we cannot rule out the involvement of S. mansoni infection in this process.