Schistosomiasis is the second most prevalent tropical parasitic disease after malaria, and one of the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries especially in Africa. This study was carried out among students, farmers and fishermen/women from four villages in the Central River Region of The Gambia. The aim of this study was to show the prevalence value of schistosomiasis in Central River Region of The Gambia. Questionnaires were administered to acquire data such as age, gender, prior schistosomiasis infection and treatment. One hundred and ninety-five blood and 192 urine samples collected from 117 females and 78 males were examined. Microscopy, ELISA and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques were used to detect and characterize schistosome isolates from the biological samples. Prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium was 28.7 with 41.0% in males and 23.9% in females. The highest prevalence value among the villages was in Brikama Ba with 53.1% while the age group 6-15 years had the highest prevalence of 50.0%. Schistosoma mansoni was only detected in Jahally village (1.5%). Schistosomiasis detection was highest using ELISA (40%) and lowest using microscopy (24.5%). PCR gave a 28.7% prevalence value.
Key words: Prevalence, Schistosoma, diagnostic techniques, Central River Region.
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