Intestinal parasites contribute greatly to morbidity in developing countries. While there have been several studies of the problem in the Caribbean, including the implementation of control programmes, this has not been done for Guyana. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites among young children in a town located in the interior of Guyana. Eighty-five children under the age of 12 years were studied prospectively for intestinal parasites in Mahdia, Guyana. Stool samples were transported in formalin to the Department of Microbiology, The University of the West Indies, Jamaica, for analysis using the formalin-ether concentration and Ziehl-Neelsen techniques. Data on age and gender of the children were recorded on field data sheets. At least one intestinal parasite was detected in 43.5% (37/85) of the children studied and multiple parasitic infections were recorded in 21.2% (18/85). The most common intestinal helminth parasite was hookworm (28.2%; 24/85), followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (18.8%; 16/85) and then Trichuris trichuria (14.1%; 12/85). Among the protozoan infections Giardia lamblia was detected in 10.5% (9/85) of the study population while Entamoeba histolytica appeared rarely. All stool samples were negative for Cryptosporidium and other intestinal Coccidia. There was no predilection for gender with any of the parasites. The pattern of distribution of worms in this area of Guyana was unlike that seen in other studies. Hookworm infection was the most common among the children and a large proportion had multiple infections. The study established the occurrence and prevalence of a number of intestinal parasites in the population of Guyana. This sets the stage for the design and implementation of more detailed epidemiological studies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||West Indian Medical Journal|
|State||Published - 2002|
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