Jaboticatubas is a municipality in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte which has been a target of a wide media release as "the capital of schistosomiasis" since the 1960's. In order to give support to a work based on an integrated control, we sought to identify the disease determinants at the site. A transversal study was carried out aimed at identifying prevalence rates of the disease and factors associated with the infection in the district of São José de Almeida, and two close localities, Cipó Velho and São José da Serra, all of them located in the municipality of Jaboticatubas. A parasitological survey was performed, applying the Kato-Katz method with two slides per sample in 1186 schoolchildren which represents 77% of all registered pupils in four public schools in 2001. Among these schoolchildren a number of 101 (8.6%) prooved positive for Schistosoma mansoni
eggs in their stool samples. A total of 64 families, whose schoolchildren had shown to be positive for schistosomiasis, also undertook examinations. As negative control, a random sample was collected from the 206 families, whose children had proven negative for schistosomiasis. The prevalence among 270 families (1304 people) was 12%. To assess those who continued to have contact with possibly contaminated water, 1061 (81.4%) people of the 270 families were interviewed. A multivariate analysis identified the following factors associated with the infection: time of residence in the area (short period), garbage disposal (use of deserted areas), gender (male), age (from 10 to 29 years), and water contact (daily and weekly). Further analysis of these factors revealed a close correlation between water contact and the disease, with a positive significant frequency concerning almost all those items. Depending on gender and age significant variations of water contact patterns associated with leisure and professional activities were found. A malacological survey on water collections in the area identified snails of the species Biomphalaria straminea and B. glabrata
. The latter showed 17 (0.6%) specimens positive for S. mansoni
. Qualitative studies have complemented such evidences, which allowed us to design a reference picture and specific indicators of the disease for the local population. Those data provided the essential information to continue the development of an already ongoing educative process, as well as projects on environmental improvements.