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Patterns of helminth infection and relationship to BCG vaccination in Karonga District, northern Malawi

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  • Medicine


Surveys of enteric and urinary helminth infections were carried out in 1999 among 501 schoolchildren and among 320 adolescents and young adults participating in a study of immune responses to BCG vaccine in Karonga District, northern Malawi. Hookworm, Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium infections were detected in 64%, 27% and 20% of schoolchildren and in 55%, 40% and 25% of the immunology study subjects, respectively. Other helminths were appreciably less common. The prevalence of 'at least one' helminth infection was 76% among schoolchildren, ranging from 60% to 92% in the 4 schools, and was 79% in the immunology study participants. There was no evidence for an association between the presence of a BCG scar and presence or intensity of infection with worms in the schoolchildren, nor evidence that BCG vaccination of adolescents and young adults had any effect on the prevalence of helminth infections 1 year later.

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