Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) technologies and behaviors can prevent infection by soil-transmitted helminth species independently, but may also interact in complex ways. However, these interactions are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize how school and home WaSH exposures were associated with Ascaris lumbricoides infection and to identify relevant interactions between separate WaSH technologies and behaviors. A study was conducted among 4,404 children attending 51 primary schools in western Kenya. We used multivariable mixed effects logistic regression to characterize how various WaSH exposures were associated with A. lumbricoides infection after annual school-based deworming. Few WaSH behaviors and technologies were independently associated with A. lumbricoides infection. However, by considering relevant interdependencies between variables, important associations were elucidated. The association between handwashing and A. lumbricoides depended largely upon the pupils' access to an improved water source. Among pupils who had access to improved water sources, A. lumbricoides prevalence was lower for those who handwashed both at school and home compared with neither place (odds ratio: 0.38, 95% confidence interval: 0.18–0.83; P = 0.01). This study contributes to a further understanding of the impact of WaSH on A. lumbricoides infection and shows the importance of accounting for interactions between WaSH technologies and behaviors.
Garn, J.V.; Mwandawiro, C.S.; Nikolay, B.; Drews-Botsch, C.D.; Kihara, J.H.; Brooker, S.J.; Simiyu, E.W.; Okoyo, C.; Freeman, M.C. Ascaris lumbricoides Infection Following School-Based Deworming in Western Kenya: Assessing the Role of Pupils’ School and Home Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Exposures. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2016) : [DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0362]