Objectives: The objective of the current study was investigations on the social factors affecting the control of onchocerciasis among women in an endemic savannah community. Methods: A randomized sampling of households with women above 18 years of age was conducted in a mesoendemic rural community in the Guinea savannah woodland of northern Nigeria. Two hundred and eighty women were selected randomly from fifty households. Structured questionnaires were administered to the women to solicit their socio-demographic indices. Interviews were conducted as a second exploratory approach. Results: The investigation helped these women to change their erroneous beliefs about onchocerciasis. They now perceive the disease as a grave social problem demanding urgent attention. Thirty women (14.4%) were infected with onchocercal symptoms ranging from onchodermatitis, nodules and blindness. There was an increasing prevalence of onchocerciasis with advancing age I.e women 51 years of age and above were mainly affected 17 (51%). Health care utilization was low; only one person (3.33%) had ever sought medical help. Farming was the main occupational risk. There was little knowledge regarding onchocerciasis, 60% of the women did not know the cause and most of the others cited act of God 7 (23.3%) and a sign of aging 5 (16.6%). There was however impressive knowledge of black flies and their habits. All the women were illiterate Muslims. Most of the affected women were involved in the polygamous relationship (43.3%). Health education led all of them to believe they needed treatment. Fear of neglect by husbands was the main reason for their desire for seeking treatment. Conclusion: Targeted health education, making use of visual aids should be directed at illiterate women in endemic areas of onchocerciasis. The social implication of neglect by husbands was observed as a predisposing factor that can enable future compliance to ivermectin treatment of onchocerciasis.
Background. Trypanosoma cruzi infection is induced by triatomine contaminated feces containing metacyclic trypomastigotes acquired via small wounds in the skin. Natural unspecific and adaptive humoral and cellular immune responses play an important role in controling primary infection. Objective: To determine the cytokine profile at the inoculation site and nearby tissues such as draining lymph nodes, as well as the heart and serum, throughout the acute and chronic phases in mice infected with metacyclic T. cruzi trypomastigotes. Material and methods. Balc⁄c mice were intradermally inoculated with vector derived metacyclic trypomastigotes of T. cruzi. The RT-PCR technique was used to analyze the cytokine profile at the inoculation site, draining lymph nodes and heart. ELISA was used to determine cytokines in serum. Results. A poor induction of cytokines within the two weeks after infection such as IL-12, IFN-gamma, IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-beta and undetectable IL-2 was observed at the inoculation site. On the other hand, in draining lymph nodes, cytokines such as IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, TGF-beta were detected from the first day after infection. In the heart, a mixed inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine pattern was identified. In serum, all cytokines tested (IL-4, IL-10 IL-12 and IFN-gamma) were detected from the 5th day post-infection with the notorious exception of IL-2. Conclusion. A poor and late induction of protective cytokines such as IFN-gamma and IL-12 was observed at the inoculation site, in spite of adequate immune responses in lymph nodes. In addition, the pattern of cytokine expression strongly depended on the kind of tissue.
Human strongyloidiasis is a parasitic infection induced by the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis which can cause gastrointestinal disturbances. It is believed to be a zoonosis with a potential for cross infection between humans and dogs. The aim of this work was to study this cross infection. Epidemiological surveys of human intestinal parasites were carried out using direct smears and cultures in the Amami Islands during the summer season from 2003 to 2008. Stools were collected from people and dogs inhabiting the Amami Islands, I.e., Kikai, Amami, Kakeroma, Uke, Yoro and Okinoerabu, Japan. It was confirmed that the infective ratio of Strongyloides was 2.8% of 660 residents studied and 10.0% of their 55 dogs. The owners who had parasite-carrier dogs were not found to have parasites, and, conversely the dogs who were kept by owners having parasites were free of parasites. The epidemiological results of the present study demonstrate that natural infection of Strongyloides does not occur between humans and dogs.
Severe malarial anaemia (SMA) is one of the most outstanding complications of malaria in African children. It is often associated with iron deficiency, but explorations of soluble transferrin revealed controversial data. Despite the implication of host genetics factors in malaria pathogenesis, nothing is known about the role of iron carried polymorphisms in this plague. Nevertheless, these polymorphisms have been associated with pathogenesis of diseases associated with iron deficiency. We conducted a cross-sectional study including 59 children with SMA, 176 with mild malaria anaemia (MMA) and 92 with non-anaemia malaria (NAM). We investigated polymorphisms G258S, R300H, A477P, P570S from transferrin exons 7, 8, 12, 15 respectively and S142G from transferrin receptor1 (TfR1) exon 4 by PCR-RFLP. The mean age of children with SMA, MMA and NAM was 27.7 ± 8.8, 38.6 ± 10.2 and 47.3± 15.4 months respectively, confirming that SMA is associated with young age (p&It;0.05). Alleles of transferrin C2 (corresponding to P570S) and C3 (corresponding to G258S) occurred in 13.8% and 1.2% of the children, respectively. Allele C3 was detected only in children with SMA (n=4, 6.8%). The frequency of allele C2 was significantly different between study groups: 1.7%, 11.4%, and 26.2% respectively for SMA, MMA, NAM; p&It;0.0003. Allele of transferrin C2 was associated with decreased risk in malarial anaemia (malarial anaemia [8.9%] versus NAM [26.2%], p&It;0.01). Transferrin polymorphisms R300H and A477P were not found. The frequency of TfR1 polymorphism S142G was 13.6%, 12.5%, 13.0% respectively for SMA, MMA, and NAM, suggesting that it had no influence on the risk of malarial anaemia. Data support the conclusion that transferrin polymorphisms influence the risk of SMA.