Associations between socio-demographic factors, water contact patterns and Schistosoma mansoni infection were investigated in 506 individuals (87% of inhabitants over 1 year of age) in an endemic area in Brazil (Divino), aiming at determining priorities for public health measures to prevent the infection. Those who eliminated S. mansoni eggs (n = 198) were compared to those without eggs in the stools (n = 308). The following explanatory variables were considered: age, sex, color, previous treatment with schistosomicide, place of birth, quality of the houses, water supply for the household, distance from houses to stream, and frequency and reasons for water contact. Factors found to be independently associated with the infection were age (10-19 and > 20 yrs old), and water contact for agricultural activities, fishing, and swimming or bathing (Adjusted relative odds = 5.0, 2.4, 3.2, 2.1 and 2.0, respectively). This suggests the need for public health measures to prevent the infection, emphasizing water contact for leisure and agricultural activities in this endemic area.
Schistosoma mansoni infection; Epidemiology; Multivariate analysis; Socio-demographic variables; Water contact patterns