Original article / research
Intestinal Amoebiasis and Risk Factors Associated with its Transmission Among Paediatric Patients Attending a Tertiary Health Care Facility in Northern India
Dr. Saher Khan,
Research Scholar, Department of Microbiology, Eras Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
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Introduction: The occurrence of Entamoeba histolytica as a human intestinal parasite is a serious problem especially in developing countries. Despite the high prevalence of amoebiasis in various parts of India, unfortunately there is paucity of information with regards to the prevalence of intestinal amoebiasis in children.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of amoebiasis among children attending a tertiary care center in Lucknow and to study their socio-demographic profile.
Materials and Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was carried out from January to June 2016, at Integral Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Lucknow , Uttar Pradesh, India. Systemic random sampling was done to collect 185 stool samples from children aged 0-14 years before the institutional treatment. The stool samples were examined for cysts/trophozoites of E. histolytica using saline and iodine preparations. Statistical study of the data was done using chi-square test. The p<0.05 was taken as significant.
Results: A total of 31 of the 185 samples were positive, i.e., they contained cysts and/or trophozoites of E. histolytica. This study indicated that the prevalence of amoebiasis among children was 16.8% with an expected 95% confidence range of 11.4-22.2. Although, the number of males infected were more than the females, no significant association was found between prevalence and gender (?²=0.52, p=0.819). Poor hygiene was significantly associated with the children suffering from intestinal amoebiasis (p=0.021). Significant association was also observed between lower socio-economic status and prevalence of E. histolytica among children.
Conclusion: The present study showed that intestinal amoebiasis is a major public health problem in children particularly in younger age group. Proper and effective diagnostic techniques for the detection of Entamoeba histolytica and treatment of infected individuals should be encouraged and made available in hospitals and rural health centers.
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