Reinfection of urogenital schistosomiasis in pre-school children in a highly endemic district in Northern Zimbabwe: a 12 months compliance study

13 Sep 2018
Mutsaka-Makuvaza MJ, Matsena-Zingoni Z, Tshuma C, Ray S, Zhou XN, Webster B, Midzi N,


In light of the shift to aiming for schistosomiasis elimination, the following are needed: data on reinfection patterns, participation, and sample submission adherence of all high-risk age groups to intervention strategies. This study was conducted to assess prevalence, reinfections along with consecutive participation, sample submission adherence, and effect of treatment on schistosomiasis prevalence in children aged five years and below in an endemic district in Zimbabwe, over one year.

METHODS: The study was conducted from February 2016-February 2017 in Madziwa area, Shamva district. Following community mobilisation, mothers brought their children aged 5 years and below for recruitment at baseline and also urine sample collection at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months follow up surveys. At each time point, urine was tested for urogenital schistosomiasis by urine filtration and children found positive received treatment. Schistosoma haematobium prevalence, reinfections as well as children participation, and urine sample submission at each visit were assessed at each time point for one year.

RESULTS: Of the 535 children recruited from the five communities, 169 (31.6%) participated consecutively at all survey points. The highest mean number of samples submitted was 2.9 among communities and survey points. S. haematobium prevalence significantly reduced from 13.3% at baseline to 2.8% at 12 months for all participants and from 24.9% at baseline to 1.8% at 12 months (P <  0.001) for participants coming at all- time points. Among the communities, the highest baseline prevalence was found in Chihuri for both the participants coming consecutively (38.5%, 10/26) and all participants (20.4%, 21/103). Reinfections were significantly high at 9 months follow up survey (P = 0.021) and in Mupfure (P = 0.003). New infections significantly decreased over time (P <  0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of acquiring schistosomiasis was high in some communities (P <  0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: S. haematobium infections and reinfections are seasonal and depend on micro-geographical settings. The risk of being infected with schistosomes in pre-school aged children increases with increasing age. Sustained treatment of infected individuals in a community reduces prevalence overtime. Participation compliance at consecutive visits and sample submission adherence are important for effective operational control interventions.