Infant schistosomiasis in Ghana: a survey in an irrigation community


K. M. Bosompem (corresponding author), J. Otchere, W. K. Anyan, Y. Osada and S. Takeo, Parasitology Unit, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, PO Box LG 581, Legon, Ghana. E-mail:
Irene A. Bentum and C. A. Brown, Applied Science Department, Accra Polytechnic, PO Box 561, Accra, Ghana.
N. Ohta, Division of Molecular Parasitology, Graduate School, Nagoya City University, 1 Azakawasumi, Mizuhocho, Mizuhoku, Nagoya, 467-8601, Japan.
S. Kojima, Asian Centre for International Parasite Control, Mahidol University, 120–126 Rajvithi Road, 10400 Bangkok, Thailand.


We used a rapid, visually read, field applicable monoclonal antibody (MoAb)-dipstick assay for specific diagnosis of urinary schistosomiasis together with microscopy to determine the prevalence of infant schistosomiasis in a community in the Awutu-Efutu Senya District in the Central Region of Ghana. The study group consisted of 97 infants (51 males and 46 females) aged 2 months to 5 years. A total of 75 of 97 (77.3%) subjects submitted stool samples; none had Schistosoma mansoni. Three individuals (3.1%) had hookworms but there were no other intestinal helminths. The urinary schistosomiasis prevalence by MoAb-dipstick (30%) was higher (P < 0.05) than that estimated by microscopy (11.2%). However, three of nine (33.3%) microscopically confirmed cases tested MoAb-dipstick positive after pre-treatment of the urine specimen with heat. The youngest infant to be found infected with S. haematobium microscopically was 4 months old. Fifteen of 71 S. haematobium egg negative individuals tested dipstick positive, giving a dipstick specificity of 78.9% as compared with microscopy as gold standard test. The relative sensitivity of the dipstick was 100%.