Soil-transmitted helminth infections and physical fitness in school-aged Bulang children in southwest China : results from a cross-sectional survey

Yap, Peiling and Du, Zun-Wei and Chen, Ran and Zhang, Li-Ping and Wu, Fang-Wei and Wang, Jian and Wang, Xue-Zhong and Zhou, Hui and Zhou, Xiao-Nong and Utzinger, Jürg and Steinmann, Peter. (2012) Soil-transmitted helminth infections and physical fitness in school-aged Bulang children in southwest China : results from a cross-sectional survey. Parasites and Vectors, 5 (50).

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BACKGROUND: Chronic soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections have been associated with reduced physical fitness, but available evidence is limited. The aim of this cross-sectional survey was to assess the feasibility of measuring children's physical fitness and to relate it to STH infections. Our study was carried out among school-aged children of the Bulang ethnic group in rural southwest People's Republic of China (P.R. China). Standardized, quality-controlled methods were employed to determine STH infections (Kato-Katz technique), haemoglobin levels, anthropometry (body weight and height) and physical fitness (20-m shuttle run test).
RESULTS: A compliance of 87% suggested good acceptance of the methods used. Among 69 children with complete data records, infection prevalence of Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm were 81%, 44% and 6%, respectively. The maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized within 1 min during exhaustive exercise (VO2 max estimate) of T. trichiura-infected children was 1.94 ml kg1 min1 lower than that of their non-infected counterparts (P = 0.005). Until exhaustion, T. trichiura-infected children had completed 6.14 20-m laps less (P = 0.004). Additionally, the mean VO2 max estimate of stunted children was lowered by 1.63 ml kg1 min1 (P = 0.002) and they completed 5.32 20-m laps less (P = 0.001) compared to children of normal stature. No significant association between stunting and infection with any STH species could be established.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of physical fitness tests in rural, resource-constraint settings is feasible. The physical fitness of children who are stunted or infected with STHs, particularly T. trichiura, is significantly impaired. We have launched a larger study and will determine the dynamics of school-aged children's physical fitness over a 7-month period after administration of anthelminthic drugs.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences
UniBasel Contributors:Utzinger, Jürg and Steinmann, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Nov 2016 14:45
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:20

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