Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites in Young Quichua Children in the Highlands of Rural Ecuador

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The prevalence of intestinal parasites in young Quichua children was assessed in 20 rural communities in the highlands of Ecuador in August 2005. The caregivers of 293 children aged 12–60 months were interviewed about the status of child health, household socioeconomic and environmental factors, and water-use practices and were requested to collect a faecal sample from the study child. Two hundred three (69.3%) of the 293 children provided faecal samples that were tested for parasites. The overall prevalences of infection for specific agents were Entamoeba histolytica or dispar 57.1%, Ascaris lumbricoides 35.5%, Entamoeba coli 34.0%, Giardia intestinalis (lamblia) 21.1%, Hymenolepis nana 11.3%, Cryptosporidium parvum 8.9%, Chilomastix mesnili 1.7%, Hymenolepis diminuta 1.0%, Strongyloides stercoralis 0.7%, and Trichuris trichiura 0.5%. The prevalence of parasites increased with age. Water storage, water treatment, consistent latrine-use, and participation in a community-based clean water project were not strongly associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasites, although having dirt floors was a risk factor for infection with E. histolytica or dispar and G. intestinalis.

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Copyright © 2007, PMC.