The influence of praziquantel treatment on schistosomiasis among school going children in Kwale district, Coastral Kenya
Kiliku, Francis B. Muinde
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Schistosomiasis is a chronic debilitating disease and remains one of the most prevalent parasitic infections, with significant economic and public health consequences. Chemotherapy is considered a cost-effective way of schistosomiasis control as it dramatically reduces infection prevalence, intensity and morbidity. However, frequently people infected with schistosomiasis continue to excrete parasite eggs even several months after treatment. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of Praziquantel (PZQ) currently the drug of choice for the treatment of schistosomiasis on the patterns of excretion and hatchability of S. haematobium eggs, of infected school children. The study was conducted at Mlafieni Primary School, Kinango location, Kinango division, coast province, Kenya, where urinary schistosomiasis is endemic. Fifty urine samples were collected daily from the children before and 14 days after treatment with Praziquantel at 40mg/kg body weight. Schistosome egg hatchability before treatment was 96.9%. However egg hatchability rapidly declined to 20.2% 24 hrs after treatment; and by 14 days post treatment it had reduced to 10.5% ( P>0.05). No significant difference was observed between the number of hatched miracidia among treated and untreated groups over time. Parasite egg output declined from 735 egg/l Omls before treatment to 44 eggs/lOmls 14 days after treatment (P<0.05). These results suggest that praziquantel markedly inhibits excretion and hatching of S. haematobium eggs, although small numbers of parasite eggs continue to be excreted by infected individuals several days after treatment with praziquantel. The results also suggest that monitoring of S. haematobium egg excretion and hatchability can be useful in the evaluation of intervention by chemotherapy, in the treated communities by the Ministry of Health. Consequently infected individuals living in S. haematobium endemic areas should avoid environmental contamination with parasite eggs soon after praziquantel chemotherapy.
- MST-Zoological Sciences