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School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

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Publication details for Dr Mark Booth

M. Booth, C. Mayombana, H. Machibya, H. Masanja, P. Odermatt, J. Utzinger & P. Kilima (1998). The use of morbidity questionnaires to identify communities with high prevalences of schistosome or geohelminth infections in Tanzania. Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 92(5): 484-90.

Author(s) from Durham


Parasitic infections were investigated in Morogoro Rural District, Tanzania, between October 1992 and June 1993. A total of 4589 schoolchildren (aged 7-17 years) from 30 primary schools was screened for infection with Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworms (3456 children only), Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. The children were also asked about their recent experiences of the following: diarrhoea, abdominal pain, blood in stool, perception of suffering from schistosomiasis, and worm infection and examined for spleen and liver enlargement. Among schools, there were correlations between the prevalence of S. mansoni infection and bloody stools, spleen enlargement and liver enlargement, and between S. haematobium infection and the presence of blood in urine. To exclude ecological explanations for the correlations, logistic regression was used to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for each infection and each sign or symptom. No sign or symptom was significantly associated with any geohelminth infection. Reported blood in stool was significantly associated with S. mansoni infection (OR = 1.62, P = 0.045). Reported blood in urine was significantly associated with S. haematobium infection (OR = 7.71, P < 0.001), as was reported blood in stool (OR = 11.52, P < 0.001), indicating that presence of blood in either form of excreta was related to the local term for schistosomiasis. These results support the possibility of using reported blood in stool as a means of rapid assessment for identifying communities with a high prevalence of S. mansoni infection.