Prevalence and risk factors for protozoan and nematode infections among children in an Ecuadorian highland community

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Abstract

In order to create a parasite prevention program for Santa Ana, Ecuador, we worked with local physicians to identify the prevalence and risk factors for intestinal parasitic infection among children. Two hundred households were randomly selected and asked to submit three stool samples from a selected child. Information from direct observation and questionnaires was used to determine environmental and behavioral risk factors for parasitic infection. Prevalence of any parasitic infection was 65.6% of the 189 children who submitted fecal samples. Parasitic infections included Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (46.6%), Giardia lamblia (18.5%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (20.1%). In a multivariate logistic model, risk factors (P < 0.05) for E. histolytica/E. dispar included >1 month since antiparasitic treatment, not adding chlorine to drinking water, children not washing their hands before eating, and having a fewer number of electrical appliances in the home. The risk factor identified for G. lamblia was children not washing their hands before eating. Risk factors for A. lumbricoides included >6 months since antiparasitic treatment and having a fewer number of electrical appliances in the home. This study may have implications for other communities throughout the developing world. © 2005 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Rinne, S., Rodas, E. J., Galer-Unti, R., Glickman, N., & Glickman, L. T. (2005). Prevalence and risk factors for protozoan and nematode infections among children in an Ecuadorian highland community. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 99(8), 585–592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.01.003

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