Human fascioliasis in Africa: a systematic review

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Fascioliasis is a globally distributed, parasitic zoonosis, caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. A comprehensive overview of the epidemiology of human fascioliasis in Africa is missing up to now. Therefore, our objective was to conduct a systematic review aiming to summarize recent knowledge on the distribution, prevalence, and risk factors of human fascioliasis in Africa. A key word search was performed in PubMed, Web of Science and Africa Wide, to gather relevant literature, published between the 1st of January 2000 and 31st of December 2020. A total of 472 records were initially retrieved, with 40 full text articles retained for the qualitative synthesis. Human fascioliasis was reported in 12 African countries, namely Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South-Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia. The majority of the studies was conducted in Egypt. A total of 28 records were population surveys. Coproscopy was the most commonly used tool for fascioliasis diagnosis in these surveys. Gender (being female), consumption of raw vegetables/seeds, age, owning livestock, and use of unsafe drinking water sources, were identified as risk factors in 7 studies. Furthermore, 43 case reports were retrieved, described in 12 studies. Eosinophilia was present in 39 of these cases, while 11 had positive coproscopy results. Eight cases described having eaten raw wild vegetables. Overall, the low number and quality of records retrieved indicates that human fascioliasis remains a truly neglected disease in Africa, and more epidemiological studies are urgently needed to both establish the actual distribution as well as risk factors on the continent.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0261166
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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