Prevalence and associated factors of Plasmodium falciparum and soil transmitted helminth infections among pregnant women in Osun state, Nigeria
Background: Plasmodium falciparum and soil transmitted helminth (STHs) infection are widespread in sub-Sahara Africa, where co-infection is also common. This study assessed the prevalence of these infections and their risk factors among pregnant women in Osogbo, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 200 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic were recruited. Plasmodium falciparum was detected using thick and thin film methods, while formol ether concentration method was used for STHs detection. A questionnaire was used to investigate the possible risk factors associated with acquisition of malaria and helminth infections.
Results: The prevalence of P. falciparum, STHs and their co-infection was 29.5%, 12% and 5% respectively. P. falciparum, STHs and P. falciparum + STHs co-infection was significantly higher in primigravidae (52.5% vs 58.3% vs 80%) than in secongravidae (18.6% vs 25.0% vs 20%) and multigravidae (28.8% vs 16.7% vs 0%) (p=0.02). Prevalence associated factors identified for P. falciparum was age (p=0.0001) while gravidity (p=0.02) was identified for P. falciparum + STHs co-infection.
Conclusion: High prevalence of P. falciparum and helminth infections was observed among the pregnant women with primigravidae being the most susceptible to co-infection. There is an urgent need to implement an effective malaria and STHs preventive method for this high risk population.
Keywords: P.falciparum, STHs, Co-infection, pregnant women, Nigeria.