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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 95-100

An Epidemiological study of Intestinal parasites in children attending the pediatric teaching hospital in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq

1 Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Kerbala, Karbala, Iraq
2 Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Babylon, Babylon, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Aseel Kariem Al-Sultany
Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Kerbala, Karbala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_276_22

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Background: Intestinal parasitosis remains an important public health concern worldwide because of its high incidence reached in several countries as well as its nutritional consequences. The role of intestinal parasites in causing morbidity and mortality, as well as the pathogenesis of other infectious diseases, is determined. Intestinal parasitic infection is most common among school-age children and tends to cause high-intensity infection in this age group. Intestinal parasites are divided into two major types: helminths and protozoa. Protozoa are unicellular organisms and belong to the Protista kingdom and can reproduce in the human body which can allow the formation of serious infections. Objectives: The objective of this study was to detect the incidence of intestinal parasites in children attending and hospitalized at Karbala Teaching Hospital in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq. Materials and Methods: Between February 2021 and January 2022, 3748 feces samples from children between the age of 1 and 15 years were tested using both direct smear and acid fast stain test in addition to rapid test techniques. Results: The result showed that the total percentage of infection with intestinal parasites was 13% and recorded five types of intestinal parasites: Entamoeba histolytica (10.54%), Giardia lamblia (2.46%), Cryptosporidium parvum 0.4%, Hymenolepis nana (0.24%), Enterobius vermicularis (0.13%), and Trichomonas hominis (0.03%). Males were more likely to get infected than females, and the incidence of intestinal parasite infection (IPI) changed over the month of the study. Also, the infection with one species has more incidence than two and three species. The age groups of the infected children were likewise impacted by the infection rate. The statistical analysis revealed differences in the percentage of IPI by age and gender of children (P ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: We conclude from the result of the present study that the incidence of infection with E. histolytica is more than that of other intestinal parasites, and intestinal parasites were affected by most epidemiological criteria such as gender, the duration of the study, and age of infected patients.

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