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Relationship between eosinophil cationic protein and infection intensity in a schistosomiasis endemic community in Ghana

Authors Asuming-Brempong E, Gyan B, Amoah A, van der Puije W, Bimi L, Boakye D, Ayi I

Received 18 July 2013

Accepted for publication 29 March 2014

Published 21 January 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 1—10

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRTM.S51713

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


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Elias Asuming-Brempong,1–3 Ben Gyan,2 Abena Serwaa Amoah,3,4 William van der Puije,3,4 Langbong Bimi,1 Daniel Boakye,3 Irene Ayi3

1Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; 2Immunology Department, 3Parasitology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; 4Parasitology Department, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

Background: Recent studies have shown the urine filtration and Kato-Katz techniques to significantly underestimate infection intensity in Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni infections, respectively. Infection intensity determination by these methods improves only with increasing number of samples collected per participant. This implies tedious and lengthy periods of sample processing and analysis by microscopy examination, hence the increased chances of experimental errors. This study sought to determine the relationship between levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and infection intensity by egg count both in S. haematobium and S. mansoni single and coinfections.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in Pakro, a periurban community in Ghana, involving a total of 308 participants. Each provided urine and stool samples, which were processed using the filtration and Kato-Katz techniques, respectively. Processed samples were examined by microscopy. Aliquots of urine from 73 participants were analyzed for levels of ECP using an ECP enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.
Results: Of the 308 urine samples examined, 59 (19.15%) were positive for S. haematobium. Significant association was observed between sex and S. haematobium infection intensity by egg count (P<0.05) as well as between age and infection intensity (P<0.001). Mean ECP levels were higher in S. haematobium-positive samples than in S. haematobium-negative samples (P<0.001). There was also positive correlation between ECP and infection intensity (Spearman's r=0.73, P<0.001).
Conclusion: This study showed that ECP levels are positively associated with infection intensity by egg count in Schistosomiasis infections, even after multivariate adjustment.

Keywords: infection intensity, risk factors, urine filtration, Kato-Katz

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