The impact of single versus mixed Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni infections on morbidity profiles amongst school-children in Taveta, Kenya.
Gouvras AN., Kariuki C., Koukounari A., Norton AJ., Lange CN., Ireri E., Fenwick A., Mkoji GM., Webster JP.
Two schistosome species--Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni--with two very different pathological profiles (urogenital versus intestinal), are responsible for the majority of human schistosomiasis infections across sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to determine whether coinfections have an impact on species-specific morbidity measures when compared to single species infections. Children from two neighbouring schools in Taveta, Kenya were grouped by infection status, i.e. uninfected, single species infections or coinfected. Clinical examination of the liver and spleen by palpation was performed and urinary albumin levels were recorded at baseline and at 12 months after praziquantel administration. Additional ultrasonographic profiles of the children's liver, spleen and bladder were incorporated at follow-up. It was found that S. haematobium-associated urogenital morbidity was lower in the coinfected group relative to single S. haematobium infections, even when infection intensities were taken into account. We also observed an association between S. haematobium infection and liver (intestinal-associated) morbidity regardless of coinfections. The findings reported here suggest that further research should be performed on the impact of S. haematobium infections on liver morbidity as well as to determine the impact of mixed schistosome species infections on human morbidity outcomes across different endemic settings.