Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
DIAS, Luis Candido de S.; GLASSER, Carmem M.; MARCAL JR., Oswaldo and BONESSO, Patrícia Ivana P.. Epidemiology of schistosomiasis mansoni in a low endemic area. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, suppl.2, pp.S254-S260. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1994000800003.
We discuss the epidemiological patterns of schistosomiasis mansoni in areas with low transmission in Brazil. We define as areas of low endemicity those where the prevalence is less than 10%, the number Schistosoma mansoni eggs per gram of feces (epg) is less than 96, and carriers are asymptomatic. Data are from the county of Pedro de Toledo in the Ribeira Valley (São Paulo State) and were collected randomly according to the aggregate pattern of S. mansoni within the hosts. We suggest the replacement of parasitological methods by more sensitive and specific serological techniques. The main risk factor for infection is type of leisure activity. Infection is more frequent in the 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24-year age brackets. Geometric mean epg is 58.5. Intensity of infections correlates well (rs = 0.745) with prevalence. The highest index of potential contamination is in the 5-20-year age bracket (57.6%). Autochthonous cases show close association with Biomphalaria tenagophila, which has a low infection rate (2%). Prevalence, incidence, and intensity of infection patterns are similar to those of moderate and high endemic areas. Social and cultural aspects must be studied in order to obtain a global epidemiological view of schistosomiasis.
Keywords : Schistosomiasis; Schistosoma mansoni; Low Endemicity; Epidemiology.