Species-specific associations between soil-transmitted helminths and micronutrients in Vietnamese schoolchildren

Brechje de Gier, Tran Thuy Nga, Pattanee Winichagoon, Marjoleine A Dijkhuizen, Nguyen Cong Khan, Margot van de Bor, Maiza Campos Ponce, Katja Polman, Frank T Wieringa

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and micronutrient deficiencies are closely related and often coexist among low-income populations. We studied the association between infections with specific STH species and micronutrient status in rural Vietnamese schoolchildren. Children (N = 510) aged 6-9 years were recruited from two primary schools. STH infections were determined in stool samples. Hemoglobin, ferritin, retinol, and zinc were measured in blood samples, as well as C-reactive protein to control for inflammation. Iodine excretion was measured in urine. Associations of single and multiple infections with Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm with micronutrient status (hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, retinol, zinc, and urinary iodine) were estimated by multiple regression analysis. Ascaris infections showed a specific and intensity-dependent negative association with vitamin A. Trichuris and hookworm infections were associated with lower hemoglobin concentration, but not with plasma ferritin. Trichuris-infected children had zinc deficiency less often than uninfected children. In conclusion, our study shows species-specific associations between STH infections and micronutrient status in children. The different life cycles of STH species might have specific effects on the absorption or loss of specific micronutrients. Tailor-made combinations of deworming and nutritional interventions may be needed to improve child health and nutrition.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)77-82
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Journal Article


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