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Prevalence of intestinal parasites in rural Southern Indians

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objective  To determine the prevalence of intestinal protozoal and helminthic infection in a rural population.method  Seventy-eight members of 15 families from a village were studied. Stool samples from all subjects were examined on alternate days for one month.results  The overall prevalence rate of various parasitic infections was 97.4%, with only 2 of 78 subjects not excreting parasites in any of their 15 samples. Eighteen (23.1%) persons had only one type of parasite, while 58 (74.3%) excreted multiple parasites. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were the commonest protozoan infections, affecting 42/78 (53.8%) and 31/78 (39.7%), respectively. Hookworm infestations were the commonest helminthic infections, seen in 48/78 (61.5%). Based on excretion patterns, the asymptomatic individuals could be divided into 2 groups of infrequent and frequent excretors, indicating that the host response may determine the level of parasite replication in the gut.

Keywords: India; intestinal parasites; parasite prevalence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India, 2: Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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