- Prof. dr. Katja Polman (ITM)
- Prof. dr. Niko Speybroeck (UCL)
- Prof. dr. Pascal Lutumba (DR Congo)
This thesis presents results of parasitological studies conducted in rural areas of DRC. Our findings indicate that single and co-infections with soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomes and taeniasis/cysticercosis are common and are heterogeneously distributed in space and within host populations. Co-endemicity of these helminth infections, similarities in age profiles and existence of shared risk factors between single and co-infections are suggestive of an integrated control approach. However, the use of praziquantel in an area potentially endemic for neurocysticercosis calls for caution given the risk of severe neurological side effects. This thesis also shows that mixed Schistosoma infections can alter the efficacy of praziquantel treatment, though this effect disappears after cumulative treatments. The findings of this thesis may contribute to the improvement of prevention and control of polyparasitism in DRC and elsewhere.
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