Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) such as Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm and Trichuris trichiura cause over 40% of the worldwide diseases from all tropical infections1. These ailments are considered as most neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and are widespread mostly in Nigeria2. These diseases occur because of poor sanitation and hygiene3. It is reported that children co-infected with these parasites exhibit hindered cognitive as well as physical development that causes incompetence in learning and school achievements as well4.
Accordingly, Clement Ameh, Ezekiel Kogi and Sodangi Abdulkarim5 conducted an investigation to evaluate the spatial and potential distribution of theses STHs under present climate change t DIVA-GroughIS (an open access Geographic Information System for mapping and visualization) as well as MaxEnt ecological niche modelling tools.
Maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modelling is actually a method to make predictions of inferences from partial information6. This procedure is helpful in epidemiology as it facilitates the employment of presence-only datasets6 which is effective to investigate cases regarding parasitology because it generally has presence-only datasets7.
Spatial and potential distribution of STHs was performed by a research team led by Oluwole8 by means of survey data obtained by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2011. But, it’s the need of hour to update this information and utilizes other data from various parts of the country to examine the distribution of these parasites. Therefore, Clement Ameh and team took this step.
For this purpose this research team collected secondary data regarding occurrence of STHs in Nigeria which was present in 98 journal publications. Later this data was used to assess the spatial distribution of the parasites by means of DIVA-GIS software. Three major variables of bio climate were also involved in this research namely: temperature, precipitation as well as altitude. Scientists used these variables in the modeling of the potential distribution of the parasites via Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling tool.
At the end of this investigation, all states in Nigeria were found endemic for STHs. However, Southern Nigeria exhibited elevated prevalence of STHs as compared to Northern Nigeria. Conclusively, these outcomes can guide to plan and control STHs in Nigeria foe successful management of this problem within the reasonable cost and human resources by focusing at the high risk regions of the country.
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17 November, 2019