a1 Wolfson Wellcome Biomedical Laboratories, Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
a2 Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK
a3 Vector Control Division, Ministry of Health, PO Box 1661, Kampala, Uganda
To ascertain the current status of strongyloidiasis in mothers and their preschool children, a field-based survey was conducted in western Uganda using a combination of diagnostic methods: ELISA, Baermann concentration and Koga agar plate. The prevalence of other soil-transmitted helminthiasis and intestinal schistosomiasis were also determined. In total, 158 mothers and 143 children were examined from five villages within Kabale, Hoima and Masindi districts. In mothers and children, the general prevalence of strongyloidiasis inferred by ELISA was ~4% and ~2%, respectively. Using the Baermann concentration method, two parasitologically proven cases were encountered in an unrelated mother and child, both of whom were sero-negative for strongyloidiasis. No infections were detected by Koga agar plate method. The general level of awareness of strongyloidiasis was very poor ( < 5%) in comparison to schistosomiasis (51%) and ascariasis (36%). Strongyloidiasis is presently at insufficient levels to justify inclusion within a community treatment programme targeting maternal and child health. Better epidemiological screening is needed, however, especially identifying infections in HIV-positive women of childbearing age. In the rural clinic setting, further use of the Baermann concentration method would appear to be the most immediate and pragmatic option for disease diagnosis.
(Accepted February 05 2008)
(Online publication April 17 2008)
† Deceased 1 February 2008.