Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Availability and use of sanitation reduces by half the likelihood of parasitic worm infections

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Access to sanitation facilities, such as latrines, reduces by half the risk of becoming infected by parasitic worms that are transmitted via soil, according to a new study.

Access to sanitation facilities, such as latrines, reduces by half the risk of becoming infected by parasitic worms that are transmitted via soil (soil-transmitted helminths), according to a study published in this week's PLoS Medicine. These findings are important as infection with parasitic worms can cause diarrhea, weakness, and malnutrition, which in turn can impair physical and mental development in children; they reinforce the importance of increased access to sanitation (a Millennium Development Goal target) to improve health outcomes.

In an analysis of 36 relevant studies led by Kathrin Ziegelbauer and Benjamin Speich from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, in Basel, Switzerland, the authors found that compared to people without access to latrines, the chance (odds ratio) of infection with roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm among people who had access to latrines was 0.49. Furthermore, people who actually used a latrine were also half as likely (odds ratio 0.51) to be infected with these parasitic worms.

These findings confirm that sanitation is an effective control measure for parasitic worm infections and therefore, according to the authors, there should be more emphasis on improved access to adequate sanitation in control strategies, in addition to reinforcing the current control measures, such as regularly giving drugs that kill the worms (but do not prevent rapid reinfection) and health education.

The authors say: "Our findings, therefore, underscore what the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission stated more than 70 years ago -- ''Cure alone is almost useless in stamping out hookworm disease, because the patient can go out and immediately pick up more hookworms. The cure should be accompanied by a sanitation campaign for the prevention of soil pollution.''"

Importantly, increased access to sanitation would also improve the control of other neglected tropical diseases (such as schistosomiasis and trachoma) and would reduce the incidence of diarrhea and consequently child mortality in low-income countries.

The authors conclude that with the elimination of neglected tropical diseases coming to the forefront of global attention, integrated control approaches -- using a combination of regular deworming; information, education, and communication campaigns; and improvements to basic sanitation and access to safe, clean water -- cannot be overemphasized.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathrin Ziegelbauer, Benjamin Speich, Daniel Mäusezahl, Robert Bos, Jennifer Keiser, Jürg Utzinger. Effect of Sanitation on Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9 (1): e1001162 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001162

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Availability and use of sanitation reduces by half the likelihood of parasitic worm infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124184152.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, January 25). Availability and use of sanitation reduces by half the likelihood of parasitic worm infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124184152.htm
Public Library of Science. "Availability and use of sanitation reduces by half the likelihood of parasitic worm infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124184152.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins