The burden of polyparasitism among primary schoolchildren in rural and farming areas in Zimbabwe

N. Midzi, D. Sangweme, S. Zinyowera, M. P. Mapingure, K. C. Brouwer, A. Munatsi, F. Mutapi, J. Mudzori, N. Kumar, G. Woelk, T. Mduluza

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58 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional study was conducted in Zimbabwe among 1303 primary schoolchildren from a rural (53.3%) and a commercial farming area (46.7%) to determine the prevalence of co-infection by helminths and Plasmodium falciparum. Urine was examined on three successive days using the filtration method. Two stool specimens were processed using the Kato-Katz method and a third specimen was processed using the sedimentation method. Plasmodium falciparum was diagnosed from thick blood films. The prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium in the rural and farming areas was 66.8% and 52.3%, respectively, and for S. mansoni the prevalence was 12.4% and 22.7%, respectively. Plasmodium falciparum, hookworms, Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura occurred only in the farming area, with a prevalence of 27.9%, 23.7%, 2.1%, 2.3%, respectively. Co-infection and triple infection with schistosomes, P. falciparum and soil-transmitted helminths occurred in the commercial farming area only. Hookworm and S. mansoni infections were associated with P. falciparum malaria (P < 0.001, OR = 2.48, 95% CI 1.56-3.93 and P = 0.005, OR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.20-2.87, respectively). Overlap of helminths with malaria is a concern among primary schoolchildren and incorporating helminth control in programmes aiming to control malaria will improve funding and increase the efficiency of control for neglected tropical diseases in identified co-endemic settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1045
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Children
  • Helminths
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Polyparasitism
  • Schistosoma
  • Zimbabwe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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