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Margaret Mead
Research Article

Urinary schistosomiasis transmission in Epe, an urban community of Southwest Nigeria


Background:A survey of Schistosoma haematobium infection in Epe, an urban community in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, was carried out to ascertain the possibility that schistosomiasis, otherwise considered a rural disease, could reach urban populations.Materials and Methods:About 100 ml of voided urine samples from 200 pupils aged 6–13 years [109 (54.5%) males and 91 (45.5%) females], attending an Anglican primary school, Ebute Afuye, and a community primary school, Erepoto, were examined parasitologically for hematuria and S. haematobium ova following informed consent obtained from their parents/guardians. All samples were screened using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the schistosome Dra1 gene. Fourteen Bulinus snails collected from the two sites, Ebute Afuye (6) and Erepoto (8), were screened for schistosome infection by the PCR amplification of the schistosome Dra1 gene. PCR-RFLP of the snails’ its region was analyzed for species identification and a subregion of the cox1 gene from four infected snails (two from each site) was amplified and sequenced.Results:In the Anglican primary school, Ebute Afuye, and community primary school, Erepoto, 16% and 29% were positive for hematuria, and 16% and 17% had schistosome ova, respectively. PCR analysis showed that 57% and 40% were positive for the infection in Anglican primary school, Ebute Afuye, and community primary school, Erepoto, respectively. PCR screening of the snails confirmed that four from Ebute Afuye and three from Erepoto were infected with schistosomes. PCR-RFLP showed that all the 14 snails were Bulinus truncatus while phylogenetic analysis of the sequenced partial cox1 gene corroborated the PCR-RFLP results.Conclusions:There was a high prevalence of S. haematobium infection among the participants detected by PCR, which was able to detect infection in cases otherwise shown to be negative by hematuria. We also observed that B. truncatus is one of the snail species responsible for the transmission of urinary schistosomiasis in the Epe community. For national control programs, it is very important that trends in the prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis in urban cities be monitored.