Research Article

Evidence for predisposition in humans to infection with Ascaris, hookworm, Enterobius and Trichuris in a South Indian fishing community

M. R. Haswell-Elkinsa1, D. B. Elkinsa1 and R. M. Andersona1

a1 Parasite Epidemiology Research Group, Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College, London University, London SW7 2BB


Studies of patterns of reinfection with four species of intestinal nematodes (Ascaris, hookworm, Trichuris and Enterobius) in 174 individual patients following chemotherapeutic treatment revealed statistical evidence for predisposition to heavy or light infection (relative to the average level in the overall population). Analyses of associations between the abundances of the four species of nematodes within a combined sample of 525 worm burdens showed significant correlations between 5 out of the 6 possible pair-wise comparisons between species. The relevance of these results to the design of control programmes based on chemotherapeutic application is discussed.

(Accepted March 06 1987)