Community-based survey on helminth infections in Kwilu province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and implications for local control strategies

Raquel Inocencio da Luz, Sylvie Linsuke, Clémentine Roucher, Alain Mpanya, Jane Nyandele, Nono Mubwa Mungwele, Bienvenue Nsiembele Mboma, Katja Polman, Epco Hasker, Marleen Boelaert

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To adequately plan mass drug administration campaigns, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) needs further support for the mapping and monitoring of schistosomiasis (SCH) and soil-transmitted helminths (STH). We conducted a community-based survey in the health districts of Mosango and Yasa Bonga of the Kwilu province, DRC. A stratified two-stage cluster random sampling method was used to include participants into three different strata: Preschool-aged children (PSAC), school-aged children (SAC), and adults who were further subdivided into women of reproductive age (WRA) and other adults. In total, surveyors visited 30 villages, and 1 206 individuals participated in the study. Stool samples were collected to perform duplicate Kato-Katz smears for the detection of SCH and STH infection. Hookworm was the most prevalent infection in both districts, 34.1% (95%CI: 32.0-38.4), followed by A. lumbricoides (2.7%; 95%CI: 1.3-2.9) and T. trichiura (1.9%; 95%CI: 1.1-2.7). We did not find any SCH infection. The prevalence of each STH infection was similar across all risk groups, and the majority of the infected individuals was carrying light intensity infection. Compared to SAC, other adults were equally infected with hookworm. The prevalence of STH infection in SAC guides the MDA implementation because schoolchildren are most at risk and easily accessible program targets if school attendance is high. The current treatment strategy targets PSAC, SAC and WRA. However, this study shows that adults in general could also benefit from deworming. Therefore, community-wide preventive chemotherapy would be the most appropriate choice to control the hookworm burden rapidly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0008745
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number10
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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