Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (1997-01-01)

Water-contact patterns and risk factors for Schistosoma mansoni infection in a rural village of Northeast Brazil

  • SILVA Antônio Augusto Moura da,
  • CUTRIM Raimundo Nonato Martins,
  • ALVES Maria Teresa Seabra Soares de Britto e,
  • COIMBRA Liberata Campos,
  • TONIAL Sueli Rosina,
  • BORGES Diane Paixão

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 39, no. 2
pp. 91 – 96


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Schistosomiasis mansoni in the Serrano village, municipality of Cururupu, state of Maranhão, Brazil, is a widely spread disease. The PECE (Program for the Control of Schistosomiasis), undertaken since 1979 has reduced the prevalence of S. mansoni infection and the hepatosplenic form of the disease. Nevertheless piped water is available in 84% of the households, prevalence remains above 20%. In order to identify other risk factors responsible for the persistence of high prevalence levels, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in a systematic sample of 294 people of varying ages. Socioeconomic, environmental and demographic variables, and water contact patterns were investigated. Fecal samples were collected and analyzed by the Kato-Katz technique. Prevalence of S. mansoni infection was 24.1%, higher among males (35.5%) and between 10-19 years of age (36.6%). The risk factors identified in the univariable analysis were water contacts for vegetable extraction (Risk Ratio - RR = 2.92), crossing streams (RR = 2.55), bathing (RR = 2.35), fishing (RR = 2.19), hunting (RR = 2.17), cattle breeding (RR = 2.04), manioc culture (RR = 1.90) and leisure (RR = 1.56). After controlling for confounding variables by proportional hazards model the risks remained higher for males, vegetable extraction, bathing in rivers and water contact in rivers or in periodically inundated parts of riverine woodland (swamplands)