Prevalence and Infection Intensity of Human and Animal Tungiasis in Napak District, Karamoja, Northeastern Uganda

Francis Mutebi, Hannah McNeilly, Marlene Thielecke, Felix Reichert, Susanne Wiese, Hermann Feldmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Tungiasis is an important but highly neglected cause of morbidity in resource-poor communities in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Data upon which implementation of control measures can be based are scarce. Before piloting an integrated tungiasis control program in three parishes of Napak district, Uganda, a cross-sectional survey involving the systematic examination of humans and domestic mammals was implemented to establish the occurrence patterns of tungiasis. The study population was 5482 residents, of which 4035 (73.6%) participated in the study. The prevalence of tungiasis in humans was 62.8% (95% CI: 61.3-64.3%), with slightly more males than females affected (p = 0.01). Age-specific prevalence and intensity of human tungiasis followed an S-curve pattern, with children of 5-14 years and the elderly (≥60 years) being the most affected. Half of all lesions (50%) had been manipulated by sharp objects. The prevalence of tungiasis in animals was lower (14.2%, 95% CI: 10.9-18.0) than that of humans (p < 0.001). Animal tungiasis occurred in decreasing order of frequency in pigs (80%), dogs (24%), goats (16.3%), cats (8.1%) and sheep (4.9%). In conclusion, human tungiasis was highly prevalent but animal infections were comparatively few in the study area. Nevertheless, effective control measures should be based on One Health principles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2023


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