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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 648-652

Declining prevalence of pulmonary paragonimiasis following treatment & community education in a remote tribal population of Arunachal Pradesh, India

1 Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR), Dibrugarh, Assam, India
2 Community Health Centre, Miao, India

Correspondence Address:
Kanwar Narain
Regional Medical Research Centre, N.E. Region (ICMR), Post Box #105, Dibrugarh 786 001, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159570

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Background & objectives: In India, human pulmonary paragonimiasis is an important public health problem in the northeastern (NE) region. In 2005 we reported a hyperendemic focus of paragonimiasis in a remote tribal village in the hills of Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh. The community was made aware of the disease and all active cases were treated. This study was aimed to assess the decline in the prevelance of paragonimiasis in the same area after a re-survey done in 2011 after a gap of six years. Methods: Re-surveys were carried to determine the reduction in the prevalence of paragonimiasis. Community education was given to the villagers to raise their awareness about paragonimiasis. A total of 624 individuals including 301 children (age ≤ 15 yr) were included in the study. Sputum and stool samples were examined for eggs of lung flukes. Serum samples were screened for IgG antibodies against lung fluke antigen by ELISA. Results: A significant (P<0.001) decline in the prevalence of paragonimiasis was found. There was decline in both ELISA positivity and egg positivity. Antibody positivity against excretory-secretary (ES) antigen in children (age ≤ 15 yr) fell down from earlier 51.7 to 15.9 per cent and in individuals 16 - 30 yr of age the serological prevalence fell down from 22.4 to 8.2 per cent and in individuals aged th > 31 yr, the decline in prevalence was from 15.3 to 3.7 per cent. Gender-wise analysis revealed that the decline in ELISA positivity was similar in both genders and fell down from 33.9 to 11.5 per cent in males and from 29.8 to 10.7 per cent in females. Similarly, there was a significant decline rate in egg positivity also. Interpretation & conclusions: The strategy of hotspot targeted active paragonimiasis case detection and treatment of infected cases together with community education appears to be feasible methods to achieve control of paragonimiasis in this region.

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