High endemicity of human f ascioliasis between Lake Titicaca and La Paz valley, Bolivia

José Guillermo Esteban, Angela Flores, René Angles, Santiago Mas-Coma

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100 Scopus citations


Over a 6-year period, an epidemiological study of human infection by Fasciola hepatica in the Northern Bolivian Altiplano was carried out. Prevalences and intensities were analysed from coprological results obtained in 31 surveys performed in 24 localities and proved to be the highest known so far. The global prevalence was 15.4%, with local prevalences ranging from 0% to 68.2%. Significant differences between prevalence rates were detected and the highest prevalences were in subjects aged < 20 years. However, prevalences showed no gender difference. The global intensity (eggs per gram of faeces, epg) ranged from 24 to 5064 epg and showed arithmetic and geometric means respectively of 446 and 191 epg, with highest local arithmetic and geometric means of 1345 and 678 epg. Significant differences in mean egg output were detected between localities. The significantly higher F. hepatica egg counts shown by girls in school surveys is worth mentioning. Although the distributions of intensities according to age-groups did not show any significant difference, a decrease of egg output counts with an increase of age was detected. It is concluded that fascioliasis is a very important human health problem in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the STD Program of the Commission of the European Communities (DG XII: Science, Research and Development) (Contract no. TS3-CT94-0294), Brussels, EU, by the Program of Scientific Co-operation with Latin America, Instituto de Cooperaci6n Ibero-americana, Agencia Espaxiola de Cooperaci6n International (ICI-AECI) and by Projects no. UE96-0001 and no. PM97-0099 of the Direcci6n General de Investigacibn Cientifica y Tecnica (DGICYT), Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, Madrid.


  • Bolivia
  • Coprological surveys
  • Epidemiology
  • Fasciola hepatica
  • Fascioliasis
  • Northern Altiplano endemic zone
  • Prevalence


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