To investigate the relationship between the prevalence of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis with variables related to access to water, sanitation and solid waste in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries.
A systematic review was performed in the LILACS, PubMed, Web of Science, and SciELO databases. Studies published between 1950 and August 2021, with an ecological design and a focus on population groups (states, municipalities and/or districts), having the prevalence of infection by Schistosoma mansoni, Ancylostoma sp., Necator americanus, Ascaris lumbricoides or Trichuris trichiura as primary variable and access to water, sewage and/or solid waste as explanatory variables were included. Open access articles with full text available in English, Spanish, or Portuguese were considered. The risk of bias and the quality of the studies were assessed according to the Joanna Briggs Institute manual.
Of 2 714 articles, nine were eligible, published between 1994 and 2021 and covering 22 LAC countries and 14 350 municipalities. All articles had moderate methodological quality. Environmental variables indicated an association between water supply and solid waste collection with schistosomiasis; water supply with ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm; and sewage with ascariasis and hookworm. Except for one article, which had regional coverage for LAC, all the others were developed in Brazil.
There is a clear need to expand research on the association between household and collective health conditions and parasitic diseases for all endemic countries in LAC to support environmental strategies to control these diseases.