Effect of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth infections on physical fitness of school children in Côte d'Ivoire.

Müller, I. et al. (2011) Effect of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth infections on physical fitness of school children in Côte d'Ivoire. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(7), e1239. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001239) (PMID:21811643) (PMCID:PMC3139653)

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Background: Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis are important public health problems in sub-Saharan Africa causing malnutrition, anemia, and retardation of physical and cognitive development. However, the effect of these diseases on physical fitness remains to be determined. Methodology: We investigated the relationship between schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and physical performance of children, controlling for potential confounding of Plasmodium spp. infections and environmental parameters (i.e., ambient air temperature and humidity). A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 156 school children aged 7–15 years from Côte d'Ivoire. Each child had two stool and two urine samples examined for helminth eggs by microscopy. Additionally, children underwent a clinical examination, were tested for Plasmodium spp. infection with a rapid diagnostic test, and performed a maximal multistage 20 m shuttle run test to assess their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) as a proxy for physical fitness. Principal Findings: The prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium, Plasmodium spp., Schistosoma mansoni, hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides infections was 85.3%, 71.2%, 53.8%, 13.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Children with single, dual, triple, quadruple and quintuple species infections showed VO2 max of 52.7, 53.1, 52.2, 52.6 and 55.6 ml kg−1 min−1, respectively. The VO2 max of children with no parasite infections was 53.5 ml kg−1 min−1. No statistically significant difference was detected between any groups. Multivariable analysis revealed that VO2 max was influenced by sex (reference: female, coef. = 4.02, p<0.001) and age (years, coef. = −1.23, p<0.001), but not by helminth infection and intensity, Plasmodium spp. infection, and environmental parameters. Conclusion/Significance: School-aged children in Côte d'Ivoire showed good physical fitness, irrespective of their helminth infection status. Future studies on children's physical fitness in settings where helminthiasis and malaria co-exist should include pre- and post-intervention evaluations and the measurement of hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and nutritional parameters as potential co-factors to determine whether interventions further improve upon fitness.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This study received financial support from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Teaching & Training), Fairmed, and the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the SCORE project. JTC acknowledges financial support by the Carolito Foundation for a PhD fellowship. TF is associated with the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South and grateful for financial support through a Pro*Doc Research Module from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF; project no. PDFMP3-123185). SK received a personal research grant from the "Forschungsfonds" of the University of Basel. AAR and DG are financially supported by SNSF (project no. IZ70Z0_123900).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Krauth, Dr Stefanie
Authors: Müller, I., Coulibaly, J. T., Fürst, T., Knopp, S., Hattendorf, J., Krauth, S. J., Stete, K., Righetti, A. A., Glinz, D., Yao, A., Pühse, U., N'Goran, E. K., and Utzinger, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Published Online:19 July 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 Müller et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 5(7):e1239
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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