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1.  Helminths and malaria co-infections are associated with elevated serum IgE 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:240.
Background
Both helminth and malaria infections result in a highly polarized immune response characterized by IgE production. This study aimed to investigate the total serum IgE profile in vivo as a measure of Th2 immune response in malaria patients with and without helminth co-infection.
Methods
A cross sectional observational study composed of microscopically confirmed malaria positive (N = 197) and malaria negative (N = 216) apparently healthy controls with and without helminth infection was conducted at Wondo Genet Health Center, Southern Ethiopia. A pre-designed structured format was utilized to collect socio-demographic and clinical data of the subjects. Detection and quantification of helminths, malaria parasites and determination of serum IgE levels were carried out following standard procedures.
Results
Irrespective of helminth infection, individuals infected by malaria showed significantly high levels of serum IgE compared with malaria free apparently healthy controls (with and without helminth infections). Moreover, malaria patients co-infected with intestinal helminths showed high level of serum IgE compared with those malaria patients without intestinal helminths (2198 IU/ml versus 1668 IU/ml). A strong statistically significant association was observed between malaria parasite density and elevated serum IgE levels (2047 IU/ml versus 1778 IU/ml; P = 0.001) with high and low parasitaemia (parasite density >50,000 parasite/μl of blood), respectively. Likewise, helminth egg loads were significantly associated with elevated serum IgE levels (P = 0.003).
Conclusions
The elevated serum IgE response in malaria patients irrespective of helminth infection and its correlation with malaria parasite density and helminth egg intensity support that malaria infection is also a strong driver of IgE production as compared to helminths.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-7-240
PMCID: PMC4063426  PMID: 24886689
Helminths; Malaria; Th2; IgE; Ethiopia
2.  Treatment Outcome of Tuberculosis Patients at Enfraz Health Center, Northwest Ethiopia: A Five-Year Retrospective Study 
Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess treatment outcome and associated risk factors among TB patients registered for anti-TB treatment at Enfraz health center, northwest Ethiopia. Methods. A five-year retrospective data (2007–2011) of tuberculosis patients (n = 417) registered for anti-TB treatment at Enfraz health center, northwest Ethiopia, were reviewed. Tuberculosis outcomes were following the WHO guidelines. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results. Among 417 study participants, 95 (22.8%), 141 (33.8%), and 181 (43.4%) were smear-positive, smear-negative, and extrapulmonary tuberculosis patients, respectively. Of the 417 study participants, 206 (49.4%) were tested for HIV. The TB-HIV coinfection was 24/206 (11.7%). Seventeen study participants (4.2%) were transferred to other health facilities. Among the 400 study participants, 379 (94.8%) had successful treatment outcome (302 treatment completed and 77 cured). The overall death, default, and failure rates were 3.4%, 0.5%, and 1.2%, respectively. There was no significant association between sex, age, residence, type of TB, HIV status, and successful TB treatment outcome. Conclusion. Treatment outcome of patients who attended their anti-TB treatment at Enfraz health center was successful. Therefore, this treatment success rate should be maintained and strengthened to achieve the millennium development goal.
doi:10.1155/2014/726193
PMCID: PMC4027020  PMID: 24891948
3.  Epidemiological and clinical correlates of malaria-helminth co-infections in southern Ethiopia 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:227.
Background
In many areas of the world, including Ethiopia, malaria and helminths are co-endemic, therefore, co-infections are common. However, little is known how concurrent infections affect the epidemiology and/or pathogenesis of each other. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the effects of intestinal helminth infections on the epidemiology and clinical patterns of malaria in southern Ethiopia where both infections are prevalent.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2006 at Wondo Genet Health Center and Bussa Clinic, southern Ethiopia. Consecutive blood film positive malaria patients (N=230) and malaria negative asymptomatic individuals (N=233) were recruited. Malaria parasite detection and quantification was diagnosed using Giemsa-stained thick and thin blood films, respectively. Helminths were detected using direct microscopy and formol-ether concentration techniques. Coarse quantification of helminths ova was made using Kato Katz method.
Results
The over all magnitude of intestinal parasitic infection was high irrespective of malaria infection (67% among malaria positive patients versus 53.1% among malaria non-infected asymptomatic individuals). Trichuris trichiura infection was associated with increased malaria prevalence while increased worm burden of helminths as expressed by egg intensity was associated with increased malaria parasitaemia which could be a potential factor for development of severe malarial infection with the course of the disease. Majority (77%) of the subjects had multiple helminths infection. T. trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides, Schistosoma mansoni, and hookworm infestation accounted for 64.5, 57.7 %, 28.4%, and 12.2% of the infections, respectively.
Conclusions
Populations in malaria-endemic areas of southern Ethiopia are multi-parasitized with up to four helminths. Mass deworming may be a simple practical approach in endemic areas in reducing the risk of severe malarial attack particularly for those at high risk of both infections.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-227
PMCID: PMC3706225  PMID: 23822192
Malaria; Helminthic infections; Co-infection; Ethiopia
4.  HBV and HCV seroprevalence and their correlation with CD4 cells and liver enzymes among HIV positive individuals at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia 
Virology Journal  2013;10:171.
Background
The co-existence of viral hepatitis caused by HBV and HCV become common causes of severe liver complication and immunological impairment among HIV infected individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV and their correlation with CD4 and liver enzyme levels among HAART naïve HIV positive individuals.
Method
A Cross-sectional study was conducted from March-May, 2011 at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. HBV and HCV serological tests and liver enzymes as well as CD4 T cell level determination were assessed following the standard procedures. Socio-demographic data was collected by using structured questionnaire. The data was entered and analyzed by using SPSS version 20.0 statistical software and p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Result
Among 400 study participants, the overall prevalence of HIV-viral hepatitis co-infection was 42(11.7%). The prevalence of HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infections were 20(5.6%), 18(5.0%) and 4(1.1%) respectively. Study participants who had HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infection have relatively raised mean liver enzyme levels (ALT, AST and ALP) than HIV mono-infected once. Individuals with HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infection also had a lower mean CD4 levels than HIV mono-infected study participants. The mean CD4 value in males was lower than females.
Conclusion
The prevalence of HBV and HCV was higher than reports from general population of the country. Raised levels of liver enzymes and lowered mean CD4 counts were seen in HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infections. These findings underscore the importance of screening all HIV positive individuals before initiating antiretroviral treatment.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-171
PMCID: PMC3670208  PMID: 23721493
HBV; HCV; HIV; CD4 T cells; Liver enzymes
5.  Frequent detection of ‘azole’ resistant Candida species among late presenting AIDS patients in northwest Ethiopia 
Background
The chronic use of antifungal agents in the treatment of fungal infection in general and oropharyngeal candidiasis mainly in AIDS patient’s leads to the selection of strain resistant to these therapies and a shift in the spectrum of Candida species. This study determines the species diversity and in vitro susceptibility of Candida isolates from late presenting AIDS patients in northwest Ethiopia.
Methods
Two hundred and twenty one HIV/AIDS patients were assessed with a standardized evaluation form at enrolment. Oral rinses were cultured on CHROMagar plates at 37°C for 48 hours and Candida species identification were made following standard microbiological techniques. In vitro drug susceptibility tests were made using broth microdilution method.
Results
The colonization rate of Candida species was found to be 82.3% (177/215). C. albicans was the predominant species isolated from 139 (81%) patients but there was a diversity of other species. C. glabrata was the most frequent non-albicans species isolated in 22.5% (40/177) of the patients followed by C. tropicalis 14.1% (27/177), C. krusei 5.6% (10) and other unidentifiable Candida species 4% (7/177). Recurrent episodes of oropharyngeal candidiasis and previous exposure to antifungal drugs were found to be predisposing factors for colonization by non-albicans species. Irrespective of the Candida species identified 12.2% (11/90), 7.7% (7/90) and 4.7% (4) of the isolates were resistant to fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole, respectively. In contrast, resistance to micafungin, amphotericin B and 5-Fluorocytosine was infrequent.
Conclusion
HIV/AIDS patients are orally colonized by single or multiple albicans and non- albicans Candida species that are frequently resistant to azoles and occasionally to amphotericin B, 5-Fluorocytosine and micafungin. These highlight the need for national surveillance for examining Candida epidemiology and resistance to antifungal drugs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-82
PMCID: PMC3577436  PMID: 23398783
Candida species diversity; In vitro susceptibility; Late presenters; Northwest Ethiopia
6.  Epidemiology of intestinal schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis among primary school children in Gorgora, Northwest Ethiopia 
Objective
To assess the prevalence and intensity of intestinal schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis among primary school children in Gorgora, Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods
A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out in Gorgora primary school in Northwest Ethiopia from November to December 2010. Stool sample was collected from 326 children (170 male and 156 female) and examined by Kato-Katz technique for intestinal schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminth infection.
Results
A total of 120 children (56 males and 64 females) were positive for single or multiple parasitic infection. Four helminth parasite species were identified and the most prevalent was Ascaris lumbricoides (A. lumbricoides) (16.60%), followed by Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) (10.10%), hookworm (5.50%) and Trichuris trichiura (T. trichiura) (4.60%). Furthermore, 1.84%, 2.76% and 2.45% of the study participants were co-infected with Hookworm & A. lumbricoides, A. lumbricoides & S. mansoni and A. lumbricoides & T. trichiura, respectively.
Conclusions
The high prevalence of intestinal schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis observed in the study area shows the need of integrated control programme including periodic deworming, improving sanitation and access to clean water, appropriate health education and environmental measures to have a lasting impact on transmission.
doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60013-4
PMCID: PMC4027258
Ethiopia; Intestinal schistosomiasis; Prevalence
7.  Nutritional status, intestinal parasite infection and allergy among school children in Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:7.
Background
Parasitic infections have been shown to have deleterious effects on host nutritional status. In addition, although helmintic infection can modulate the host inflammatory response directed against the parasite, a causal association between helminths and allergy remains uncertain. The present study was therefore designed to evaluate the relationship between nutritional status, parasite infection and prevalence of allergy among school children.
Methods
A cross sectional study was performed involving school children in two elementary schools in Gondar, Ethiopia. Nutritional status of these children was determined using anthropometric parameters (weight-for-age, height-for-age and BMI-for-age). Epi-Info software was used to calculate z-scores. Stool samples were examined using standard parasitological procedures. The serum IgE levels were quantified by total IgE ELISA kit following the manufacturer’s instruction.
Result
A total of 405 children (with mean age of 12.09.1 ± 2.54 years) completed a self-administered allergy questionnaire and provided stool samples for analysis. Overall prevalence of underweight, stunting and thinness/wasting was 15.1%, 25.2%, 8.9%, respectively. Of the total, 22.7% were found to be positive for intestinal parasites. The most prevalent intestinal parasite detected was Ascaris lumbricoides (31/405, 7.6%). There was no statistically significant association between prevalence of malnutrition and the prevalence of parasitic infections. Median total serum IgE level was 344 IU/ml (IQR 117–2076, n = 80) and 610 IU/ml (143–1833, n = 20), respectively, in children without and with intestinal parasite infection (Z = −0.198, P > 0.8). The prevalence of self reported allergy among the subset was 8%. IgE concentration was not associated either with the presence of parasitic infection or history of allergy.
Conclusion
The prevalence of malnutrition, intestinal parasitism and allergy was not negligible in this population. In addition, there was no significant association between the prevalence of allergy and their nutritional status, and parasite infection. Further research prospective observational and intervention studies are required to address the question of causality between nutritional factors, parasites, and allergy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-7
PMCID: PMC3565883  PMID: 23311926
Nutritional status; Parasite infection; Allergy; Ethiopia
8.  Prevalence of smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis among prisoners in North Gondar Zone Prison, northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:352.
Background
People concentrated in congregated systems, such as prisons, are important but often neglected reservoirs for TB transmission, and threaten those in the outside community. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the prevalence of tuberculosis in a prison system of North Gondar Zone.
Methods
An active case-finding survey in North Gondar Prison was carried out from March to May 2011. All prison inmates who had history of cough for at least a week were included in the study. Three morning sputum samples were collected from suspected inmates and examined through fluorescence microscopy. Fine needle aspiration cytology was done for those having significant lymphadenopathy. Pre and post HIV test counseling was provided after written consent. Binary logistic and multivariable analysis was performed using SPSS version 16.
Results
A total of 250 prisoners were included in the survey. Among these, 26 (10.4%) prisoners were found to have TB giving a point prevalence of 1482.3 per 100,000 populations of smear positive TB among the TB suspects. All the inmates who participated in the study volunteered for HIV testing and a total of 19(7.6%) inmates were found to be reactive for the HIV antibody test amongst of which 9(47.4%) had TB co-infection. The prevalence of HIV infection in the TB infected inmates was found to be 34.6% (9/26). From the 26 TB cases identified 12 (46.2%) were having under nutrition (BMI < 18.5kg/m2).
Conclusions
There is high prevalence of TB in North Gondar Prison with possible active transmission of TB within the prison. There was a high prevalence of HIV among the TB suspects. Strong cooperation between prison authorities and the national tuberculosis control programmes is urgently required to develop locally appropriate interventions to reduce transmission. The determinants for poor nutrition in the prison need also further investigation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-352
PMCID: PMC3531261  PMID: 23241368
Prison; Tuberculosis; TB/HIV co-infection; Ethiopia
9.  Effect of emergency oral contraceptive use on condom utilization and sexual risk taking behaviours among university students, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:501.
Background
Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years are both the most at risk of HIV and the greatest hope for turning the tide against HIV/AIDS. Although various surveys have been done on sexual behaviour of youth in Ethiopia, studies assessing the effect of emergency oral contraceptives on condom utilization of university students are lacking.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in two major universities of Ethiopia from January to May 2011 using structured self administered questionnaire with the aim to assess the effect of introducing oral emergency contraceptive pills on condom utilization and sexual risk taking behaviours among female university students. Study participants were selected by simple random sampling using the list from the associate registrars of each University. Data were entered, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with condom utilization.
Results
a total of 623 students out of 660 were included giving response rate of 94.4%. A total of 103(16.5%) had history of sexual intercourse and nearly half (45.6%) of them had sex before the age of 20 years. Forty (6.4%) students had history of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Sixty seven percent of students had heard about emergency oral contraceptives. One hundred and ninety one (45.7%) of students believe that EOC is effective in preventing pregnancy. Believing that EOC is effective in preventing pregnancy (adjusted Odds ratio, AOR = 0.22 95% CI 0.06, 0.87), condom prevents STI (AOR = 10.37, 95% CI 1.73, 62.24) and younger age below 20 years (AOR = 11.68 95% CI 1.25, 109.19) were statistically significantly associated with condom use.
Conclusion
a significant number of students had history of sexual intercourse and used emergency contraception. The belief in the effectiveness of EOC negatively affects condom use. The preference for the pill may make teenagers less prepared to practice STI protective behaviours in specific situations. Therefore, there is an urgent need to educate young people in universities about reproductive health and family planning and skills on how to prevent HIV/STIs including unwanted pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-501
PMCID: PMC3494538  PMID: 22971668
University students; Emergency contraceptive; Risky sexual behaviour; Condom use; Northwest Ethiopia
10.  Potential risk of HIV transmission in barbering practice in Ethiopia: from public health and microbiological perspectives 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:707.
Background
HIV and other blood borne infections can be transmitted through the use of improperly sterilized and disinfected sharp equipments.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted from January to June, 2010 to assess the potential risk of HIV transmission in barbering practice in Ethiopia from public health and microbiological perspectives. Barbers in barbershop were interviewed using pre-designed questionnaires and check lists were used to evaluate barbering practice. Microbiological data from tips of the sharpener before and after the barbering was collected and processed as per the standard procedure.
Results
One hundred and twenty three barbering sessions and barbers were observed in which 106 (86.2%) were males. Ninety six (78%) of the respondents knew that HIV could be transmitted by sharing non-sterile sharp instruments. Among the total participants 59 (48%) had the correct knowledge of what sterilization mean and 111 (94.1%) of them believed its importance in their work place. Barbers had a mean knowledge score of 6 ± 1.5 out of a score of 10 regarding sterilization and disinfection as well as in the transmission of HIV in their work place. Three (2.5%) barbers were disagreed that unsterilized blade can transmit skin diseases and 26 (21.3%) of them believed disinfection is enough to avoid microbes from sharp objects. Ninety two (76.7%) barbers were using sterilization in their establishment. According to Likert scaling almost all sterilization and disinfection procedures were riskily practiced and respondents had poor level of knowledge. No significant association was found to influence the decontamination and sterilization of barbering equipments except monthly income, pre and post colony count of microbes identified. The isolation of normal skin flora in the pre-and post- sterilization and disinfectant procedures and less average percent colony reduction showed that sterilization and disinfectant practices in barbershop were generally poor that proofed proper sterilization and/or disinfection techniques were unfavorable.
Conclusion
This study has revealed the presence of potential risk of HIV and other blood borne disease transmission among the barbers of the study areas. Thus continuous and intensified public health strategies on health education, training, supervision and monitoring are needed to facilitate the adoption of effective methods of sterilization and/or disinfection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-707
PMCID: PMC3491044  PMID: 22931363
11.  Comparison of CareStart™ HRP2/pLDH COMBO rapid malaria test with light microscopy in north-west Ethiopia 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:234.
Background
In Ethiopia, light microscopy is the gold standard for malaria diagnosis although it is not available in most peripheral health facilities. It is time consuming, requires trained personnel and needs careful preparation and application of reagents to ensure quality results. This study was aimed at testing the diagnostic performance of CareStart™ malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) with reference to light microscopy for the diagnosis of falciparum and vivax malaria in Ethiopia.
Methods
Blood samples were collected from 254 patients suspected to have malaria at Kola Diba Health Center in the late malaria transmission peak season from November 2011 to December 2011. The samples were examined immediately by light microscopy and the RDT (CareStart™ Malaria HRP2/pLDH COMBO Test kit). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 16 and the JavaStat two-way contingency table analysis.
Results
The overall sensitivity and specificity of CareStartTM RDT was found to be 95% (90–97.9%, 95% CI) and 94.2% (90.9–96%, 95% CI), respectively. The sensitivity of the CareStartTM RDT for Plasmodium falciparum or mixed infection was calculated to be 92.9% (82.5–98%, 95%CI) while a sensitivity of 90.9% (74.1–98.4%, 95%CI) was found for non-falciparum species. The specificity for P. falciparum or mixed infections was found to be 95.4% (92.5–96.8%, 95%CI) while it was 97.3% (94.8–98.4%, 95%CI) for non-falciparum species. There was an excellent agreement between the two tests with a kappa value of 0.918.
Conclusion
The CareStartTM RDT test showed good sensitivity and specificity with an excellent agreement to the reference light microscopy. The RDT could therefore be used in place of light microscopy, which in poor set-ups cannot be used routinely.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-234
PMCID: PMC3411439  PMID: 22818643
CareStart™; Light microscopy; Malaria; Rapid diagnostic test; Ethiopia
12.  Prevalence of Pulmonary tuberculosis and immunological profile of HIV co-infected patients in Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:331.
Background
In sub-Saharan Africa, as high as 2/3 of tuberculosis patients are HIV/AIDS co-infected and tuberculosis is the most common cause of death among HIV/AIDS patients worldwide. Tuberculosis and HIV co-infections are associated with special diagnostic and therapeutic challenges and constitute an immense burden on healthcare systems of heavily infected countries like Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis and their immunologic profiles among HIV positive patients.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted among adult HIV-positive patients attending HIV/AIDS clinic of Gondar University Hospital. Clinical and laboratory investigations including chest x-ray and acid fast staining were used to identify tuberculosis cases. Blood samples were collected to determine CD4+ lymphocyte count. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic characteristics of study subjects. The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 software.
Results
A total of 400 HIV positive study participants were enrolled. Thirty (7.5%, 95%CI: 5.2-10.6%) of the study participants were found to have pulmonary tuberculosis. In multivariate analysis, only CD4+ lymphocyte count (AOR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.002-8.368) was found to be independently associated with tuberculosis-HIV co-infection. Individuals who had advanced WHO clinical stage were also statistically significant for co-infection. The mean CD4+ lymphocyte count of HIV mono-infected participants were 296 ± 192 Cells/mm3 and tuberculosis-HIV co-infected patients had mean CD4+ lymphocyte count of 199 ± 149 Cells/mm3 with p value of 0.007.
Conclusions
We found high prevalence of tuberculosis-HIV co-infection. Lower CD4+ lymphocyte count was found to be the only predicting factor for co-infection. Early detection of co-infection is very necessary to prolong their ART initiation time and by then strengthening their immune status.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-331
PMCID: PMC3434071  PMID: 22738361
13.  Assessment of the effect of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying for malaria control in three rural kebeles of Adami Tulu District, South Central Ethiopia 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:127.
Background
In the Adami Tulu District, indoor residual spraying (IRS) and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) has been the main tool used to control malaria. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of IRS and ITNs control strategies in Aneno Shisho kebele (lowest administrative unit of Ethiopia) compared with Kamo Gerbi (supplied ITN only) and Jela Aluto (no IRS and ITNs), with regards to the prevalence of malaria and mosquito density.
Methods
Cross-sectional surveys were conducted after heavy rains (October/November, 2006) and during the sporadic rains (April, 2007) in the three kebeles of Adami Tulu District. Malaria infection was measured by means of thick and thin film. Monthly collection of adult mosquitoes from October-December 2006 and April-May 2007 and sporozoite enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) on the collected mosquitoes were detected. Data related to the knowledge of mode of malaria transmission and its control measures were collected. Data collected on parasitological and knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) surveys were managed and analysed using a statistical computer program SPSS version 13.0. A P-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results
The overall prevalence of malaria was 8.6% in Jela Aluto, 4.4% in Kamo Gerbi and 1.3% in Aneno Shisho in the two season surveys. The vector, Anopheles gambiae s.l., Anopheles pharoensis and Anopheles coustani were recorded. However, sporozoite ELISA on mosquito collections detected no infection. The difference in overall malaria prevalence and mosquito density between the three kebeles was significant (P<0.05).
Conclusions
The present study has provided some evidence for the success of ITNs/IRS combined malaria control measures in Aneno Shisho kebele in Adami Tulu District. Therefore, the combined ITNs/IRS malaria control measures must be expanded to cover all kebeles in the District of Ethiopia.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-127
PMCID: PMC3407491  PMID: 22533789
14.  Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses among medical waste handlers at Gondar town Health institutions, Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:55.
Background
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver due to viral infections and there are groups of viruses that affects the liver of which hepatitis B and C viruses are the causative agents of sever form of liver disease with high rate of mortality. Medical waste handlers who undergo collection, transportation, and disposal of medical wastes in the health institutions are at risk of exposure to acquire those infections which transmit mainly as a result of contaminated blood and other body fluids including injury with sharp instruments, splash to the eye or mucous membrane. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B and/or C viruses and associated risk factors among medical waste handlers.
Results
A cross-sectional study was conducted from April, 2011 to June, 2011 in government health institutions at Gondar town. Socio-demographic and possible risk factors data from medical waste handlers were collected using pre-tested and well structured questionnaires. Venous bloods were collected and the serums were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-hepatitis C antibody using rapid Immunochromatography assay. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS software package (version16). Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to assess risk of association. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistical significance.
A total of 100 medical waste handlers and 100 non-clinical waste handlers were examined for HBV and HCV viruses. HBV was detected in 6 (6.0%) and 1 (1.0%) and HCV in 1 (1.0%) and 0 (0.0%) of medical waste handlers and non-clinical waste handlers, respectively. Significant differences were observed in the detection rates of HBV (OR = 6.3; X2 = 4.1; P = 0.04) and overall infection rate (HBV + HCV) (OR = 7.5; X2 = 5.2; P: 0.02) in medical waste handlers when compared with non-clinical waste handlers. It was found that none of the observed risk factors significantly associated with rate of hepatitis infection compared to others.
Conclusions
Prevalence of HBV and HCV were significantly higher in medical waste in relation to non-clinical waste handlers. There were poor waste management system which contributed for occurrence of higher degree of sharps injury and blood and body fluids splash.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-55
PMCID: PMC3274440  PMID: 22264306
Medical waste handlers; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; Gondar Ethiopia
15.  Intestinal parasitosis and shigellosis among diarrheal patients in Gondar teaching hospital, northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:472.
Background
Diarrheal diseases are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing world. Understanding the etiologic agents of diarrheal diseases and their association with socio-demographic characteristics of patients would help to design better preventive measures. Thus, this study was aimed to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria in diarrheic patients.
Methods
A cross-sectional study involving 384 consecutive diarrheal patients who visited Gondar teaching hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia from October 2006 to March 2007 was conducted. Stool specimens were collected and examined for intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria following standard parasitological and microbiological procedures.
Results
Intestinal parasites were diagnosed in 36.5% of the patients. The most frequently encountered protozoan parasite was Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (7.3%) followed by Giardia lamblia (5.0%), Cryptosporidium parvum (1.8%) and Isospora belli (1.3%). The dominant helminthic parasite identified was Ascaris lumbricoides (5.5%) followed by Strongyloides stercoralis and Schistosoma mansoni (3.1% each), hookworm infection (1.8%), and Hymenolepis species (1.3%). Multiple infections of intestinal parasites were also observed in 6.3% of the patients. Among the enteropathogenic bacteria Shigella and Salmonella species were isolated from 15.6% and 1.6%, respectively, of the patients. Escherichia coli O57:H7 was not found in any of the stool samples tested. Eighty eight percent and 83.3% of the Shigella and Salmonella isolates were resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics, respectively.
Intestinal parasitosis was higher in patients who live in rural area, in patients who were washing their hands after visiting toilet either irregularly with soap and without soap or not at all, in patients who used well and spring water for household consumption, and in patients who had nausea (P < 0.05). Statistically significant associations were also observed between Shigella infections and patients who were using well and spring water for household consumption, and patients who had dysentery and mucoid stool (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
The high prevalence of intestinal parasites and Shigella species in diarrheic patients calls for institution of appropriate public health intervention measures to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases. The rational use of antibiotics should also be practiced.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-472
PMCID: PMC3234293  PMID: 22041102
Intestinal parasitosis; Shigellosis; Gondar
16.  Malaria prevalence pattern observed in the highland fringe of Butajira, Southern Ethiopia: A longitudinal study from parasitological and entomological survey 
Malaria Journal  2011;10:153.
Background
In Ethiopia, information regarding highland malaria transmission is scarce, and no report has been presented from Butajira highland so far whether the appearance of malaria in the area was due to endemicity or due to highland malaria transmission. Thus this study aimed to determine the presence and magnitude of malaria transmission in Butajira.
Methods
For parasitological survey, longitudinal study was conducted from October to December 2006. The entomological surveys were done from October to December 2006 and continued from April to May 2007. Both parasitological and entomological surveys were done using standard procedures.
Results
The parasitological result in all the survey months (October-December) showed an overall detection rate of 4.4% (48/1082) (CI 95%; 3.2-5.7%) malaria parasite. Among infected individuals, 32 (3.0%) of the infection was due to Plasmodium vivax and the rest 16 (1.5%) were due to Plasmodium falciparum. The highest prevalence 39(3.6%) of the parasite was observed in age groups of above 15 years old. Among the total tested, 25(2.3%) of males and 23(2.1%) of females had malaria infection. Among tested individuals, 38(5.3%) and 10 (2.7%) of infection was occurred in Misrak-Meskan (2100 m a.s.l) and Mirab-Meskan (2280 m a.s.l), respectively which was statistically significant (X2 = 3.72, P < 0.05). Although the prevalence pattern of Plasmodium species declined from October to December, the trend was non-significant (X2 for trend = 0.49, P > 0.05). The entomological survey showed a collection of 602 larvae and 80 adult Anopheles. Anopheles christyi was the dominant species both in the first (45.3%) and in the second (35.4%) surveys; where as, Anopheles gambiae sensu lato comprised 4.7% and 14.6%, in the first and second surveys, respectively. Anopheles gambiae s.l comprises 55% of the adult collection, and both species were collected more from outdoors (57.5%). The number of An. christyi was higher in Mirab-Meskan (58. 3%) than Misrak-Meskan (41.7%) (P < 0.05).
Conclusion
Malaria parasite and its vectors were found to be common during transmission periods in the highland fringes of Butajira. Thus, health education about the risk of malaria and its control programme in the area must be given adequate attention to minimize potential epidemics. In addition, the current study should be complemented from sero-epidemiological, prospective longitudinal and retrospective studies along with metrological and ecological factors, and socio-demographic data before concluding in favour of highland malaria transmission in the area. In light of its abundance, which coincided with the malaria transmission seasons, the possible role of An. christyi as a secondary vector in the highlands must be further investigated by including blood meal sources detection.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-153
PMCID: PMC3141588  PMID: 21649923
17.  Prevalence and risk factors for soil-transmitted helminth infection in mothers and their infants in Butajira, Ethiopia: a population based study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:21.
Background
Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are widespread in underdeveloped countries. In Ethiopia, the prevalence and distribution of helminth infection varies by place and with age. We therefore investigated the prevalence of and risk factors for STH infection in mothers and their one year-old children living in Butajira town and surrounding rural areas in southern Ethiopia.
Methods
In 2005-2006, 1065 pregnant women were recruited in their third trimester of pregnancy. In 2006-2007, when children reached their first birthdays, data on the infants and their mothers were collected, including stool samples for qualitative STH analysis. Questionnaire data on various demographic, housing and lifestyle variables were available. Logistic regression analysis was employed to determine the independent risk factors for STH infection in the mothers and children.
Results
908 mothers and 905 infants provided complete data for analysis. Prevalence of any STH infection was 43.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 40.2-46.8%) in mothers and 4.9% (95%CI 3.6-6.5%) in children. In the fully adjusted regression model, infrequent use of soap by the mother was associated with increased risk (odds ratio (OR) 1.40, 95% CI 1.04-1.88, and 1.66, 95% CI 0.92-2.99, for use at least once a week and less frequent than once a week respectively, relative to daily use; p for trend = 0.018), and urban place of residence (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.28-0.73, p = 0.001) was associated with reduced risk of maternal STH infection. The only factor associated with STH infection in infants was household source of water, with the greatest risk in those using piped water inside the compound (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.02-0.38 for river water, 0.20, 95% CI 0.56-0.69 for either well or stream water and 0.21, 95% CI 0.09-0.51 for piped water outside compared with piped water inside the compound, overall p = 0.002)
Conclusion
In this rural Ethiopian community with a relatively high prevalence of STH infection, we found a reduced risk of infection in relation to maternal hygiene and urban living. Daily use of soap and a safe supply of water are likely to reduce the risk of STH infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-21
PMCID: PMC2835680  PMID: 20085635

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