Schistosomiasis and Strongyloidiasis in African Refugees

Blackburn, Brian
March 2008
Travel Medicine Advisor;Mar2008, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p13
Refugees resettling to the united states and other developed countries frequently suffer from infectious diseases, and can pose diagnostic or therapeutic dilemmas for health care providers in their new homes. Posey and colleagues examined two cohorts of African refugees that had resettled to the United States over the 5 years preceding the study, focusing on serologic testing for schistosomiasis and strongyloidiasis. Among 462 Lost Boys of Sudan refugees, schistosoma seroprevalence was 44% (predominantly S. mansoni), and strongyloides seroprevalence was 46%. Among 100 Somali Bantu refugees, schistosoma seroprevalence was 73% (predominantly S. haematobium), and strongyloides seroprevalence was 23%. Sixty-eight percent of Lost Boys had at least one of the two infections, as did 75% of the Somali Bantu. Although the inciting reason for the study was investigation of chronic abdominal pain in the Lost Boys, no association was found between these infections and abdominal pain, which was attributed to multifactorial causes.


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