[Heterogeneity of Schistosoma haematobium transmission in irrigated fields].Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2004 Feb; 97(1):19-23.BS
Heterogeneity of Schistosoma haematobium transmission in irrigated fields. Although irrigated areas exist since a long time in the Niger Valley the distribution of the urinary schistosomiasis does not appear homogeneous, testifying to the existence of limiting or favourable factors. The identification of these factors could lead to a better definition of the distribution of the schistosomiasis risks and to optimise control programmes. The population of five villages about 1,900 inhabitants living in the same irrigated area (Sébéri) was examined at the end of 1999 before treatment and surveyed two and ten months after treatment by praziquantel in order to investigate re-infections. In parallel, the transmission sites were subject to a semi-monthly malacological follow-up from 1998 to 2001 and the water contacts were quantified in the sites of the main village during 2000. Before treatment, schistosomiasis risks appeared related to the proximity between habitat and lateral canals: the infections concerning youngers were all the more intense that the dwellings were close to the canal. The parasitological indices were the highest in the village lacking of other water sources. The morbidity indices followed a similar distribution with maximum values in the children of the 3 villages located to less than 1 km from the canal; however, morbidity was mainly observed in the adult population, in particular male, of the 2 villages which were the most distant from the canal. After treatment, the incidence of the re-infection between 2 and 10 months was comparable in the 3 villages close to the canal (28%) but was significantly weaker in the 2 villages far from the transmission sites (5%). In the villages bordering the canal, the incidence in the children was all the more high since the habitat was close to the canal. Between 1999 and 2000, the collected number of Bulinus truncatus decreased from 1.4 to 0.6 individuals per survey; moreover, no mollusc harbouring parasites was found, representing the decrease of the parasite burden. The abnormal weakness of re-infection, regarding this type of focus, could be explained by the repeated stop of water supply inducing a complete drying out of the canal for 2 months during the year preceding the study. These repeated drying out also resulted in a reduction of the exposure. Whereas the average frequentation of the sites of the canal remained rather comparable between January (cold dry season) and May (dry hot season), it decreased dramatically in September (rainy season but canals were not irrigated this year) from 99 to 11 daily contacts. The use of the lateral canal when filled represented 80% of the contacts. In the event of drying out, 80% of the contacts were transferred in the ponds but not in the river (5% of the contacts whatever the season). These results confirmed (1) that the presence of canals reduced the use of natural sites and (2) that the drying out of the canals induced a total reduction of the contacts.