Intestinal parasitic infections in adolescent girls from two boarding schools in southern Benin

Halimatou Alaofè, John Zee, Romain Dossa, Huguette Turgeon O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intestinal parasitic infections (IPI), especially helminths, represent a major public health problem that increase iron deficiency anaemia in developing countries. This study investigated the prevalence, risk factors and nutritional consequences of IPIs in 180 adolescent girls aged 12-17 years living in two boarding schools in southern Benin. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and laboratory analysis of blood and faecal samples. The relationships between socioeconomic indicators, IPIs and iron status were analysed using logistic regression analysis. Fifty percent of the subjects were infected with at least one IPI: 2% with helminths, 41% with protozoa and 7% with two or more intestinal parasites. Adolescent girls from a large family and those whose mothers were manual workers showed a higher risk of intestinal parasitism (odds ratio (OR) = 3.5, 95% CI 2.5-5.2 (P = 0.02) and OR = 2.4, 95% CI 2.0-3.0 (P = 0.03), respectively). Likewise, drinking untreated water was also a high risk factor for infection (OR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.5-2.4; P = 0.03). No significant association was observed between IPIs and iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia, which can be explained by the low wormload observed. These findings reinforce the need to involve mothers in health initiatives to control intestinal parasitism in Benin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume102
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Benin
  • Helminth infection
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Protozoan infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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