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Research: Asymptomatic malaria and intestinal helminth co-infection among children in a rural community in Southwest Nigeria

December 12, 2013 - 14:43 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Hannah O. Dada-Adegbola, Olufunke A. Oluwatoba, Catherine O. Falade
MWJ 2013, 4, 18
Article type: 

We studied the prevalence rates of malaria and intestinal helminths individually and as co- infection among asymptomatic children in a rural community in southwest Nigeria. Children aged 1-17 years were evaluated for intestinal helminths by stool examination using the saline wet mount and Kato-Katz methods. Capillary blood from finger prick samples was used for haematocrit determination and malaria screening by microscopy. One hundred and fifteen of the 178 (64.6%) children had at least one intestinal helminthic infection while 69 (60%) thereof harboured multiple helminthic infections. Malaria parasites were encountered in 35/178 (19.7%) of the enrolees. Malaria-helminth co-infection was detected in 24/115 (20.9%) of the children. The prevalence [60/115 (52.2%) versus 8/63 (12.7%) p<0.0001] and severity of anaemia were significantly higher among children with worms compared to those without worms. Malaria and helminths co-infection is common among apparently asymptomatic children in the rural community studied. Co-infections increase the problems associated with anaemia and aggravate the burden of disease in Nigerian children.

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