Clinical morbidity associated with S. haematobium infection in pre‐school age children from an endemic district in Zimbabwe

Tariro L. Mduluza‐jokonya, Thajasvarie Naicker, Maritha Kasambala, Luxwell Jokonya, Arthur Vengesai, Herald Midzi, Emilia Choto, Kempton Musonza, Simba Rusankaniko, Elopy Sibanda, Francisca Mutapi, Takafira Mduluza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Schistosoma haematobium infection is associated with urogenital morbidity. There are limited studies reporting on Schistosoma. haematobium infected pre-school age children, particularly concerning the extent of morbidity. In this study we investigated Schistosoma. haematobium morbidity in infected pre-school age children and established their disease burden.

Methodology: Pre-school age children (1-5years) who were lifelong residents of the study area and had no other infections were included in the study. Participants underwent a physical examination with clinicians blinded from their infection status. Diagnosis of Schistosoma. haematobium was by urine filtration.

Results: The prevalence of Schistosoma. haematobium was 35.1%(146/416). The clinical features observed in patients with Schistosoma. haematobium were: wheezes (morbidity attributable factor (AF=93.9%), haematuria (AF=92.6%), ascites (AF=91.5%), atopy (AF=76.9%), inguinal lymphadenopathy(AF=68.4%), stunting (AF=38.2) , malnutrition (MUAC)(AF=20%) and weight for height scales (AF=5%). Schistosoma. haematobium infected children were at greater odds ratio of presenting with inguinal lymphadenopathy (AOR)=99.2(95% CI 24.2 to 854.5), wheezes in the chest (AOR=35.4 95% CI 15.3 to 94.2), Distended abdomen with ascites (AOR=23.9 95% CI 11.4 to 54), haematuria (AOR=12.6 95% CI 11.6 to 14.1), atopy history (AOR=5.6 95% CI 1.85 to 20.2), malnutrition (AOR=2.3 95% CI 1.4 to 3.2) and stunting (AOR= 1.9 95% CI 1.1 to2.7).

Conclusion: The study is novel as it demonstrates for the first time clinical morbidity markers associated with Schistosoma. haematobium infection in pre-school age children. Furthermore the study adds scientific evidence to the call for inclusion of pre-school age children in schistosomiasis control programs. These morbidity markers highlight the need for early diagnosis and screening for S. haematobium in preschool age children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Early online date5 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2020


  • urogenital schistosomiasis
  • morbidity
  • diagnosis
  • pre-school aged children
  • neglected
  • schistosoma haematobium


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