Original article / research
Burden of Intestinal Helminth Infection among School Going Children from A South-Asian Nation – Its Implications
Dr. Nonika Rajkumari,
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, 2nd Floor, Institute Block, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry-605006, India.
Introduction: Intestinal helminth infections are a problem worldwide in children responsible for a majority of the morbidity associated with it. School going age children are also at special risk of being infected by these parasites.
Aim: To analyze the burden and types of intestinal helminths in school going children in comparison to the whole pediatric population.
Materials and Methods: Five hundred children were included within a period of 3 years and in all 720 stool and duodenal aspirates samples were collected and sent for routine testing including repeats were included. The study tried to compare the intestinal helminth infections between school going children and preschool children, its distributions, risk factors or any associated morbidities and co-infections.
Results: In all, 127 children were positive for a type of intestinal infection by routine stool/aspirate microscopy which was confirmed by concentration method of which 93 children were positive for an intestinal helminth infection. 24.9% (81/325) of the children were test positive school going children. Maximum positivity was of hookworm (51, 40.1%), followed by Strongyloides stercoralis (46, 36.2%), Ascaris lumbricoides (21, 16.5%) and Enterobius vermicularis (9, 7%). Single species of helminth infection was seen in 70.8% (90/127) of the infected children in contrast to 2.3% (3/127) children having multiple types of parasitic helminth infections. Maximum prevalence was seen among the 6-10 years age group (54.8%).
Conclusion: Silent infection or hyper infection was seen especially in the immunocompromised children. Intestinal parasitic infections are very much prevalent. Strong suspicion, proper diagnosis and preventive measures are the need of the hour.
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