The prevalence of soil transmitted helminth infections in minority indigenous populations of South-East Asia and the Western Pacific Region: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Beth Gilmour*, Kefyalew Addis Alene, Archie C.A. Clements

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction 

Soil transmitted helminth (STH) infections cause one of the most prevalent diseases in man. STHs disproportionately impact socio-economically disadvantaged communities including minority indigenous populations. This systematic review aimed to quantify the prevalence of STH infection within minority indigenous populations of the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions. 

Methods 

The systematic review was conducted in accordance with The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines following a published proto-col. A random effects meta-analysis was used to estimate the pooled prevalence of STH infection, and meta-regression analysis was used to quantify associations with study char-acteristics. Where comparative data were available, sub-group analysis was conducted to evaluate the risk of STH infection in minority indigenous people relative to other population groups. The heterogeneity between studies was evaluated visually using Forest plots and was assessed quantitatively by the index of heterogeneity (I2) and Cochran Q-statistics.

 Results 

From 1,366 unique studies that were identified, 81 were included in the final analysis. The pooled prevalence of infection within minority indigenous populations was 61.4% (95% CI 50.8, 71.4) for overall STH infection; 32.3% (95% CI 25.7, 39.3) for Ascaris.lumbricoides; 43.6% (95% CI 32.6, 54.8) for Trichuris.trichiura; 19.9% (95% CI 15.7, 24.5) for hookworm and 6.3% (95% CI 3.2, 10.2) for Strongyloides.stercoralis. A significant increase in T. tri-chiura prevalence was observed over time. The stratified analysis showed that the prevalence of infection for STH overall and for each STH species were not significantly different in minority indigenous participants compared to other populations groups. 

Conclusion 

The prevalence of STH infection is high within minority indigenous populations across countries at very different levels of socio-economic development. The increasing prevalence of T. trichiura calls for the implementation of more effective therapies and control strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009890
Number of pages30
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Gilmour et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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