Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Endemic human fasciolosis in the Bolivian Altiplano

M. PARKINSONa1 c1, S. M. O'NEILLa2 and J. P. DALTONa3

a1 School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland

a2 School of Nursing, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland

a3 Institute for the Biotechnology of Infectious Diseases (IBID), University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

SUMMARY

Fasciolosis, caused by trematodes of the genus Fasciola, is an emerging disease of humans. One of the highest levels of human fasciolosis hepatica is found amongst the indigenous Aymaran people of the Northern Bolivian Altiplano. A meta-analysis of epidemiological surveys from 38 communities in the region demonstrates that fasciolosis has been endemic in the region since at least 1984 and is a zoonosis of rural communities. Human and bovine fasciolosis is associated with the communities lying in the plain from Lake Titicaca to La Paz, predominantly in the Los Andes province. In Los Andes incidences of up to 67% of population cohorts were found, and prevalence is age-related with the highest infection rate in children aged 8–11 years.

(Accepted August 10 2006)

(Online publication October 26 2006)

Correspondence:

c1 *Author for correspondence: Dr M. Parkinson, School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland. (Email: Michael.Parkinson@dcu.ie)

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