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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


MACHADO, Marcos T et al. Ascariasis in the subdistrict of Cavacos, municipality of Alterosa (MG), Brazil: effect of mass treatment with albendazole on the intensity of infection. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 1996, vol.38, n.4, pp.265-272. ISSN 1678-9946.

The clinical and epidemiologic aspects of infection with Ascaris lumbricoides were studied in a random stratified sample of the population of the subdistrict of Cavacos, municipality of Alterosa (Minas Gerais, Brazil). The effect of mass treatment with a single dose of albendazole on the prevalence and intensity of infection was also studied six months later in the same population. During the first phase of the study, a questionnaire was applied to 248 individuals to obtain information about the socioeconomic, sanitary and clinical conditions of the population surveyed. A total of 230 fecal samples were also examined by the Kato-Katz technique in order to determine the intensity of A. lumbricoides infection. Two hundred and two individuals were simultaneously submitted to blood counts and 70 children aged 12 years or less were evaluated for nutritional status. The presence of A. lumbricoides and other helminth eggs was also determined in 22 soil samples collected in the urban zone of Cavacos. Infection with enteroparasitic helminths was detected in 29.1% of the sample, with a predominance of A. lumbricoides (23.9%). Parasitism and/or intensity of A. lumbricoides infection were significantly correlated with age range (15 years or less), social class, sanitary and living conditions (water, sewage and domiciliary area per person), and presence of abdominal pain. However, these parameters were not correlated with nutritional status or hematocrit levels. During the second phase of the study, a slight but not statistically significant decrease in the prevalence of A. lumbricoides infection was detected after treatment with albendazole. However, an important and significant reduction in the amount of A. lumbricoides eggs eliminated through the feces was detected, indicating that the intensity of A. lumbricoides infection was lower in all the age ranges of the Cavacos population, especially among younger individuals, even six months after administration of the anthelminthic agent.

Keywords : Ascariasis; Ascaris lumbricoides; Morbidity [prevalence and intensity of infection]; Single-dose mass treatment; Albendazole.

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