Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections

  • L.S. STEPHENSON (a1), M.C. LATHAM (a1) and E.A. OTTESEN (a2)

Abstract

The Global Burden of Disease caused by the 3 major intestinal nematodes is an estimated 22·1million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost for hookworm, 10·5million for Ascaris lumbricoides, 6·4million for Trichuris trichiura, and 39·0million for the three infections combined (as compared with malaria at 35·7million) (World Bank, 1993; Chan et al. 1994); these figures illustrate why some scarce health care resources must be used for their control. Strongyloides stercoralis is the fourth most important intestinal worm infection; its nutritional implications are discussed, and the fact that its geographic distribution needs further study is emphasized. Mechanisms underlying the malnutrition induced by intestinal helminths are described. Anorexia, which can decrease intake of all nutrients in tropical populations on marginal diets, is likely to be the most important in terms of magnitude and the probable major mechanism by which intestinal nematodes inhibit growth and development. We present a revised and expanded conceptual framework for how parasites cause/aggravate malnutrition and retard development in endemic areas. Specific negative effects that a wide variety of parasites may have on gastrointestinal physiology are presented. The synergism between Trichuris and Campylobacter, intestinal inflammation and growth failure, and new studies showing that hookworm inhibits growth and promotes anaemia in preschool (as well as school-age) children are presented. We conclude by presenting rationales and evidence to justify ensuring the widest possible coverage for preschool-age children and girls and women of childbearing age in intestinal parasite control programmes, in order to prevent morbidity and mortality in general and specifically to help decrease the vicious intergenerational cycle of growth failure (of low-birth-weight/intrauterine growth retardation and stunting) that entraps infants, children and girls and women of reproductive age in developing areas.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Tel: 1 607 255 6869. Fax: 1 607 255 6869 or 1 607 255 1033. E-mail: lss5@cornell.edu

Keywords

Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections

  • L.S. STEPHENSON (a1), M.C. LATHAM (a1) and E.A. OTTESEN (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed