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Parasitic infestations 

Parasitic infestations
Chapter:
Parasitic infestations
Author(s):

Mauricio L. Barreto

and Phil J. Cooper

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198719830.003.0026
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date: 24 November 2020

Parasites are important causes of disease and death in humans. This chapter focuses on the helminth infections of greatest public health importance: soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and schistosomiasis. Infections with STHs and schistosomiasis are extremely common worldwide and cause significant morbidity and mortality. The four commonest STHs with global public health relevance are Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and the hookworms Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale. Infections with STHs thrive in conditions of poverty where access to sanitation is limited and faecal contamination of the environment is widespread. The three schistosome species of public health relevance are Schistosoma haematobium, which occurs mainly in Africa; S. mansoni, which occurs in the Middle East, South America, and Africa; and S. japonicum, which is found in parts of China and the Philippines. An estimated 200 million people are infected globally. Treatment options are still limited by the few available drugs that are safe and effective.

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