The objective of this study was to epidemiologically describe potential infectious agents among rural people in the Republic of Yemen. This would aid clinicians in designing empirical therapy and public health officials in planning disease prevention. We sought to examine evidence for the geographical distribution of pathogens causing human hepatic and splenic disease among villagers and domestic animals living in three remote areas with differing altitudes. In June 1992, a cross-sectional survey was conducted at three survey sites of differing altitudes: 3080, 1440 and 250 m above sea level. Questionnaires, parasitic and serological tests were administered to 627 human volunteers. Additionally 317 domestic animals were studied. Malaria, schistosomiasis, and hepatitis B and C infections were found to be likely causes of human hepatic or splenic disease. Additionally, evidence of human and animal infections with the agents of brucellosis and Q fever was found: IgG antibodies against hepatitis E virus were discovered in two (2.0%) of the 100 volunteers. The prevalence of markers for human and animal disease was often lowest at the village of highest elevation, suggesting that increasing altitude, as a surrogate or a true independent risk factor, was protective against infection with the agents studied.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases