Water-contact patterns and schistosoma mansoni infection in a rural community in northeast Brazil

Eduardo Mota, Adrian C. Sleigh
1987 Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo  
We evaluated the influence of water-related human activities, contaminative behaviour, house location, education and socio-economic status on endemic Schistosoma mansoni infection. The study was conducted in a hilry non-irrigated area of rural northeast Brazil amongst a defined population of subsistence farmers, of whom 93% were infected by age 20. The area was mapped, water bodies were surveyed, and a detailed questionnaire was performed on each household. Infection was assessed by duplicate
more » ... ool examinations using the sensitive Bell technique to quantify egg excretion. For each household, and index of intensity of infection was computed by grouping individual log-transformed egg counts as an age-sex adjusted Z score. Few households had a sanitary installation or a domestic water supply. However, neither water-contact nor contaminative behavior were indiscriminate. The people made considerable effort to defaecate far from a water source, to obtain household drinking water from the cleanest source, and to bathe only at certain sites where privacy is assured. Land ownership and literacy correlated poorly with the household index of intensity of infection. The key influence on infection status was the relative location of the house and snail-free or snail colonized water sources. In this area, a safe domestic water supply is the critical input needed to achieve definitive control of endemic Schistosomiasis.
doi:10.1590/s0036-46651987000100001 pmid:3114861 fatcat:6jqm7ovejbbu7n7oqjsqslfqsq