Parasitology Research

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 347–358 | Cite as

Seroprevalence of five parasitic pathogens in pregnant women in ten Caribbean countries

  • Fengguang Guo
  • Martin S. Forde
  • Stephen R. Werre
  • Rosina C. Krecek
  • Guan Zhu
Original Paper


To date, published epidemiological studies of parasitic infections in humans in the Caribbean region are very limited. Here, we report the seroprevalence of five parasitic pathogens, including Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Schistosoma mansoni, and Toxocara canis in 435 serum samples collected between 2008 and 2011 from pregnant women in ten Caribbean islands. We tested the serum samples for IgG antibodies against the five parasites by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Among them, 66.2 % were serologically positive for at least one parasite. The most prevalent parasite was G. lamblia (40.5 %), followed by A. lumbricoides (37.9 %), T. canis (14.5 %), E. histolytica (6.7 %), and S. mansoni (3.0 %). Evidence of infections of G. lamblia and A. lumbricoides were detected in all ten Caribbean countries. Seroprevalence estimates significantly differed between countries for A. lumbricoides, E. histolytica, and T. canis (p values <0.001). For S. mansoni, significance was observed by Fisher’s exact test (p = 0.013) but not by multiple comparisons. The prevalence of G. lamblia was not significantly different between countries (p = 0.089). A significant negative correlation between the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and overall seroprevalence by country was also observed (Pearson’s r = −0.9202, p = 0.0002). The data strongly indicates that neglected parasitic infections remain a significant health burden on people in these countries. Thus, justification has been provided to regional health planners to enhance existing public health surveillance programs on parasitic diseases and to heighten the public’s awareness through education and outreach programs on how they can minimize the occurrence of parasitic infections.


Seroprevalence Pregnant women Caribbean Ascaris lumbricoides Entamoeba histolytica Giardia lamblia Schistosoma mansoni Toxocara canis 



We thank Professor Miles B. Markus at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, for his constructive discussions and suggestions on this study. Our gratitude is extended to Ms. Elise Lee and Mr. Thomas E. Krecek for their technical support with the biological samples. Texas A&M One Health Iniatitive is thanked for financial and administrative support. 

Supplementary material

436_2016_5297_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (175 kb)
ESM 1 Supplemental Table S1. Seroprevalence of five parasites in pregnant women residing in ten English-speaking Caribbean countries listed by country. Supplemental Table S2. Seroprevalence of five parasites in pregnant women residing in ten English-speaking Caribbean countries listed by parasite. Supplemental Table S3. Association between categorical risk factors and serology results for each of the five parasites. Supplemental Table S4. Association between age (years) and serology results for each of the five parasitic pathogens. (PDF 174 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of MedicineSt. George’s UniversitySt. George’sGrenada
  3. 3.Laboratory for Study Design and Statistical Analysis, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary MedicineVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Texas A&M University One Health Initiative Program, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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