Insights into the epidemiology and genetic make-up of Oesophagostomum bifurcum from human and non-human primates using molecular tools

Parasitology. 2006 Apr;132(Pt 4):453-60. doi: 10.1017/S0031182005009406. Epub 2005 Dec 7.


The nodule worm Oesophagostomum bifurcum (Nematoda: Strongylida) is a parasite of major human health importance predominantly in northern Togo and Ghana. Currently, it is estimated that 0.25 million people are infected with this nematode, and at least 1 million people are at risk of infection. Infection with this parasite causes significant disease as a consequence of encysted larvae in the wall of the large intestine. In spite of the health problems caused by O. bifurcum, there have been significant gaps in the knowledge of the biology, transmission and population genetics of the parasite. This review provides an account of some recent insights into the epidemiology and genetics of the parasite from human and non-human primate hosts in specific regions of Africa using molecular tools. Recent research findings are discussed mainly in relation to non-human primates being reservoirs of infection, and the consequences for the prevention and control of oesophagostomiasis in humans are briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cercopithecus / parasitology
  • Colobus / parasitology
  • DNA Fingerprinting / veterinary
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Female
  • Genes, Helminth / genetics
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology
  • Monkey Diseases / parasitology*
  • Oesophagostomiasis / diagnosis
  • Oesophagostomiasis / epidemiology*
  • Oesophagostomiasis / parasitology*
  • Oesophagostomiasis / prevention & control
  • Oesophagostomum / classification
  • Oesophagostomum / genetics*
  • Papio anubis / parasitology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Togo / epidemiology