Original Research

Selected micronutrient status of school-aged children at risk of Schistosoma haematobium infection in suburban communities of Nigeria

Samson E. Olerimi, Ehitare I. Ekhoye, Oriasotie S. Enaiho, Alexander Olerimi
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2034 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v12i1.2034 | © 2023 Samson E. Olerimi, Ehitare I. Ekhoye, Oriasotie S. Enaiho, Alexander Olerimi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 July 2022 | Published: 31 May 2023

About the author(s)

Samson E. Olerimi, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria; and, School of Biomedical Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Ehitare I. Ekhoye, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Edo State University, Uzairue, Nigeria
Oriasotie S. Enaiho, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria; and, School of Biomedical Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Alexander Olerimi, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria

Abstract

Background: The parasite Schistosoma haematobium causes urogenital schistosomiasis, a chronic infectious disease that occurs mainly among school-age children.

Objective: The prevalence of S. haematobium infection and level of intensity relative to age, gender and status of selected serum micronutrients among school-age children were investigated in suburban communities in Bekwarra, Nigeria.

Methods: This cross-sectional school-based study randomly recruited 353 children aged between 4 and 16 years from five elementary schools between June 2019 and December 2019. We gathered socio-demographic data about each child using a semi-structured questionnaire. Blood samples were collected for micronutrient analysis and urine samples were collected for assessment of S. haematobium infection.

Results: A total of 57 (16.15%) school-age children were infected with S. haematobium. Girls (n = 34; 9.63%) were more frequently infected than boys (n = 23; 6.52%). Infection was most frequent among children aged 8–11 years (n = 32; 23.19%) and was significantly (p < 0.001) associated with age and gender. Serum levels of iron, calcium, copper and zinc among infected children were significantly lower than those of non-infected children. Intensity of infection was negatively associated with iron (r = −0.21), calcium (r = −0.24), copper (r = −0.61; p < 0.001) and zinc (r = −0.41; p < 0.002).

Conclusion: This study showed that S. haematobium infection adversely impacted the micronutrient status of school-age children in suburban Nigeria. Measures to lower the prevalence of schistosomiasis among school-age children, including efficient drug distribution, education campaigns and community engagement, are necessary.

What this study adds: This research emphasises the significance of implementing infection prevention and control interventions to mitigate the transmission and prevalence of schistosomiasis among school age children.

 


Keywords

micronutrients; Schistosoma haematobium; schistosomiasis; school-age children; zinc

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

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Total article views: 1334

 

Crossref Citations

1. Urinary schistosomiasis and anemia among school-aged children from southwestern Nigeria
Babatunde Adewale, Margaret A. Mafe, Hammed O. Mogaji, Joshua B. Balogun, Medinat A. Sulyman, Morakinyo B. Ajayi, David O. Akande, Emmanuel O. Balogun
Pathogens and Global Health  first page: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1080/20477724.2024.2322800