Geographic distribution and epidemiology of Oesophagostomum bifurcum and hookworm infections in humans in Togo.
In contrast to the rest of the world, infections with Oesophagostomum bifurcum are commonly found in humans in northern Togo and Ghana. In addition, infections with hookworm are endemic in this region. In the present study, a detailed map of the geographic distribution of O. bifurcum and hookworm infections in northern Togo was made. There were a number of foci with high prevalence of infection with O. bifurcum. All the villages examined were infected with hookworm, and the distribution was quite patchy. Women were infected with O. bifurcum more often than men, while infections with hookworm were more prevalent in men than in women. The prevalence and intensity of infection with both parasites were clearly age-dependent. We estimate that more than a 100,000 people in Togo are infected with O. bifurcum and more than 230,000 are infected with hookworm. (+info)
Ultrasonographic detection and assessment of preclinical oesophagostomum bifurcum-induced colonic pathology.
In northern Ghana and Togo, Oesophagostomum bifurcum infects an estimated 250,000 people, as determined by cultures of stool samples. The juvenile stages of the helminth develop within colonic wall nodules, causing Dapaong tumor or multinodular disease, at the rate of 1 case per week at Nalerigu Hospital in Ghana. Our aim was to discover whether suspected colonic-wall pathology is ultrasonographically visible in asymptomatic individuals living in the area where O. bifurcum is endemic. A total of 464 persons from 3 villages, ranging from highly infected to noninfected, were examined with ultrasonography. Anechogenic colonic lesions with posterior wall enhancement were observed in 71 (54.2%) of 131 and 57 (24.5%) of 233 persons from the villages of endemicity, and no lesions were seen in persons from the village outside the area of endemicity. We describe the lesions noted in this study as nodules caused by O. bifurcum, on the basis of their association at a population level with prevalence of larvae in stools, their expected ultrasonographic appearance and distribution (on the basis of our surgical experience with oesophagostomiasis), and the lack of a convincing differential diagnosis. (+info)
Determining the prevalence of Oesophagostomum bifurcum and Necator americanus infections using specific PCR amplification of DNA from faecal samples.
Until recently infection of humans with Oesophagostomum bifurcum was regarded as a rare zoonosis. But in northern Togo and Ghana its prevalence is 50% or more in certain villages. Diagnosis is hampered by the fact that the eggs of O. bifurcum are morphologically identical to those of the hookworm Necator americanus. Stools have to be cultured for 7 days to allow eggs to hatch to the characteristic third-stage (L3) larvae. We evaluated the applicability of specific polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) to amplify DNA from faecal samples as an alternative method for the differential diagnosis of the two infections. Oesophagostomum bifurcum-PCR was positive in 57 of 61 faecal samples known to contain O. bifurcum L3 larvae in coproculture. Necator americanus PCR was positive in 137 of 146 faecal samples known to contain N. americanus L3 larvae in coproculture. PCR also detected 26 additional O. bifurcum cases in 72 samples from O. bifurcum endemic villages in which no O. bifurcum larvae were found and 45 N. americanus cases in 78 samples in which no N. americanus larvae were found in coproculture. No O. bifurcum DNA was detected in 91 stool samples from individuals from two non-endemic villages. These results prove the usefulness of specific PCR assays as epidemiological tools to estimate the prevalence of O. bifurcum and N. americanus infections in human populations. (+info)
Intraobserver and interobserver variation of ultrasound diagnosis of Oesophagostomum bifurcum colon lesions.
Infection by the nematode Oesophagostomum bifurcum is focally distributed in Africa and causes a syndrome of abdominal pain, obstruction, or abdominal mass because of its predilection for invasion of colonic mucosa. To determine the reliability of ultrasound for the detection of colon pathology induced by this parasite, three studies to assess the intraobserver and interobserver variation of the technique were performed. In an area of northern Ghana endemic for O. bifurcum, 181 people from a low-prevalence village and 62 people from a high-prevalence village were examined twice by the same observer, and 111 people were independently examined by two observers in a moderately endemic village. The kappa statistics for the prevalence observations in the three studies were 0.82, 0.87, and 0.81, respectively, and kappa values for the intensity observations were 0.66, 0.63, and 0.71, respectively. The upper 95% confidence intervals of the average absolute difference in nodule size measurements in Study 1 and Study 3 were 3.6 and 4.5 mm, respectively. Therefore, ultrasound is useful in the diagnosis and management of O. bifurcum colon infection. (+info)
Genetic substructuring within Oesophagostomum bifurcum (Nematoda) from human and non-human primates from Ghana based on random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis.
Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was used to study genetic variation within Oesophagostomum bifurcum in Ghana. Four different decamer primers were used for the amplification of DNA from individual O. bifurcum adults (n = 41) from humans and non-human primates (including the Mona monkey, Patas monkey and Olive baboon) from different geographic regions. Analysis of the amplicons from all 41 nematodes by high resolution, denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis defined a total of 326 informative RAPD bands. Cluster analysis of the RAPD data (based on pairwise comparison of banding profiles) showed that O. bifurcum from humans was genetically distinct from O. bifurcum from the Mona and Patas monkeys, and from the Olive baboon. These findings clearly demonstrate the existence of population genetic substructuring within O. bifurcum from different primate hosts in Ghana, and raise interesting questions about host specificity, epidemiology (e.g., zoonotic transmission), and ecology of the different genotypes of O. bifurcum. (+info)
Oesophagostomum bifurcum in non-human primates is not a potential reservoir for human infection in Ghana.
In northern Togo and Ghana, human infection with the parasitic nematode Oesophagostomum bifurcum is of major health importance. Elsewhere, oesophagostomiasis is considered a zoonotic infection, non-human primates being the natural host. We examined 349 faecal samples of the olive baboon, mona monkey and black and white colobus monkey from two geographically distinct areas in Ghana, outside the region endemic for O. bifurcum in humans. Using both microscopy and species-specific PCR, we found a high prevalence of O. bifurcum (75-99%) in olive baboons and mona monkeys. The majority of the test-positive faecal samples contained large numbers of larvae after copro-culture (>100). No O. bifurcum was detected in the faeces of the black and white colobus monkeys. Observational studies on the behaviour of the non-human primates, focusing on defecation, food consumption and the sharing of habitat with the local human population, indicated favourable conditions for zoonotic transmission. Given that no human infection with O. bifurcum has been reported from either study area, the present findings support the hypothesis that O. bifurcum from humans in the north of Ghana, and O. bifurcum from olive baboons and/or mona monkeys are distinct. (+info)
Annual mass treatment with albendazole might eliminate human oesophagostomiasis from the endemic focus in northern Ghana.
As a follow-up to the study by Ziem et al., in this issue, efforts to control human oesophagostomiasis and hookworm infections in northern Ghana were pursued, and the results evaluated in collaboration with the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme. This phase of evaluation of the impact of mass treatment was no longer limited to a small-scale research setting: it was done both in the context of an operationally viable national control programme and as a continuation of the Oesophagostomum Intervention Research Project (OIRP). The methods of evaluation included classical stool examination with Kato thick smears, stool culture and ultrasound examination of the colon wall. The results showed that yearly population-based albendazole-ivermectin treatment in 11 villages scattered over north-eastern Ghana, with a treatment coverage of 70-75%, resulted in a reduction of Oesophagostomum prevalence from about 20% pre-intervention to less than 1% after 2 years of mass treatment. Simultaneously, hookworm prevalence went down from 70% to approximately 15%. The data, however, cannot be readily compared with those of Ziem et al. because of the relatively crude diagnostic (single stool cultures) screening system that had to be used for the evaluation of the large-scale control programme. In the research area of the OIRP, interruption of mass treatment resulted in a rising hookworm prevalence. The Oesophagostomum prevalence, on the other hand, continued to go down. Transmission of human oesophagostomiasis appears interruptible and small numbers of persistent cases of Oesophagostomum infection were shown insufficient to serve as a nucleus of renewed spread of the infection. The data suggest that both the infection with and the pathology due to human oesophagostomiasis can be eliminated and that elimination is likely to be achieved through operationally feasible albendazole-ivermectin treatment as used by the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. (+info)
Impact of repeated mass treatment on human Oesophagostomum and hookworm infections in northern Ghana.
Oesophagostomum bifurcum is a common parasite of humans causing disease in parts of northern Ghana and northern Togo. The impact of repeated mass treatment with albendazole on infection with O. bifurcum and hookworm is analysed and the results compared with those in a control area where no treatment was given. At baseline, O. bifurcum and hookworm prevalences were 53.0% and 86.9%, respectively (n=1011). After 12 months, following two rounds of albendazole treatment, prevalences decreased significantly to 5.4% for O. bifurcum and 36.8% for hookworm (n=535). Twenty-four months after the baseline survey and following a total of four rounds of treatment, prevalences were further reduced to 0.8% and 23.4% for O. bifurcum and hookworm, respectively (n=478). Overall, there was a significant decrease in the larval counts, measured as geometric mean larval count per 4 g of stool of O. bifurcum from 3.0 to 0.1 and of hookworm from 47.2 to 1.8. The fourth mass treatment was carried out in April 2003 by the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme. Overall, compliance to treatment varied from 70% to 80%. In the control area, Oesophagostomum prevalence increased from 18.5% to 37.0% and the intensity from 0.4 to 1.4. For hookworm, both prevalence (86.1-91.3%) and intensity (54.8-74.3) increased but not to a significant level. The prospects of eliminating human oesophagostomiasis from the intervention area, while simultaneously achieving an important reduction of hookworm prevalences by albendazole mass treatment, are discussed. (+info)