Piloting an integrated approach for estimation of environmental risk of Schistosoma haematobium infections in pre-school-aged children and their mothers at Barombi Kotto, Cameroon.
Eyre MT., Stanton MC., Macklin G., Bartoníček Z., O'Halloran L., Eloundou Ombede DR., Chuinteu GD., Stewart M., LaCourse EJ., Tchuem Tchuenté LA., Stothard JR.
Within schistosomiasis control, assessing environmental risk of currently non-treated demographic groups e.g. pre-school-aged children (PSAC) and their mothers is important. We conducted a pilot micro-epidemiological assessment at the crater lake of Barombi Kotto, Cameroon with GPS tracking and infection data from 12 PSAC-mother pairs (n = 24) overlaid against environmental sampling inclusive of snail, parasite and water-use information. Several high-risk locations or 'hotspots' with elevated water contact, increased intermediate snail host densities and detectable schistosome environmental DNA (eDNA) were identified. Exposure between PSAC and mother pairs was temporally and spatially associated, suggesting interventions which can benefit both groups simultaneously might be feasible. When attempting to interrupt parasite transmission in future, overlaid maps of snail, parasite and water contact data can guide fine-scale spatial targeting of environmental interventions.