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Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) are highly prevalent Neglected Tropical Disease in Ethiopia, an estimated 26 million are infected. Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies assist data mapping and analysis, and the prediction of the spatial distribution of infection in relation to environmental variables. The influence of socioeconomic, environmental and soil characteristics on hookworm infection at the individual and household level is explored in order to identify spatial patterns of infection in rural villages from Zenzelema (Amhara region). Inhabitants greater than 5 years old were recruited in order to assess the presence of STH. Socioeconomic and hookworm infection variables at the household level and environmental variables and soil characteristics using RS were obtained. The dominant STH found was hookworm. Individuals which practiced open defecation and those without electricity had a significant higher number of hookworm eggs in their stool. Additionally, adults showed statistically higher hookworm egg counts than children. Nonetheless, the probability of hookworm infection was not determined by socioeconomic conditions but by environmental characteristics surrounding the households, including a combination of vigorous vegetation and bare soil, high temperatures, and compacted soils (high bulk density) with more acidic pH, given a pH of 6.0 is optimal for hatching of hookworm eggs. The identification of high-risk environmental areas provides a useful tool for planning, targeting and monitoring of control measures, including not only children but also adults when hookworm is concerned.


Melaku Anegagrie, Sofía Lanfri, Aranzazu Amor Aramendia, Carlos Matías Scavuzzo, Zaida Herrador, Agustín Benito, Maria Victoria Periago. Environmental characteristics around the household and their association with hookworm infection in rural communities from Bahir Dar, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2021 Jun;15(6):e0009466

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PMID: 34157019

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