Assessment of public health implication of malaria-geohelminth co-infection with an emphasis on hookworm-malaria anemia among suspected malaria patients in asendabo, southwest Ethiopia.Ethiop Med J. 2009 Jan; 47(2):153-8.EM
Malaria and geo-helminth infections are causes of severe illness and poor economic growth. Overlapping distributions of both parasites lead to high rate of co-infection.
The study was designed to assess public health importance of Malaria-geo-helminth co-infection with an emphasis on anemia in Asendabo, south west Ethiopia.
A total of 370 suspected malaria cases were involved in the study. Each stool sample was analyzed using Kato-Katz techniques. Thick blood films were used for detection and quantization of malaria parasites. Hemoglobin was determined using Sysmex hematology analyzer.
61.6% individuals were positive for at least one intestinal helminth and/or protozoan infection. Hookworm was the most prevalent (38%) followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (19.2%) and Trichuris trichiura (10.3%). Furthermore, 32.4% of the study participants were positive for either of the two Plasmodium species; of which 64.3% were P. falciparum and the rest 35.7% were P. vivax. Based on WHO definition of anemia, 27.6% were anemic cases and both hookworm and malaria infections were significantly associated with anemia (P < 0.05). 20.8% of study participants were co-infected with malaria and any helminth. Hookworm and malaria positive individuals had low mean hemoglobin concentration than their respective negative counter parts and the difference was significant (P < 0.05). Furthermore, mean hemoglobin concentration was significantly lowered in malaria-hookworm co-infected individuals than individuals infected with either hookworm or malaria infection alone (F = 69.39, P = 0.000).
In general malaria hookworm co-infections worsen hemoglobin loss. And we recommend that individuals co-infected should receive prompt health care to control and prevent morbidity/mortality from anemia.