- Saturday, October 2, 2010
- Prevalence of intestinal parasites among school children in northern districts of West Bank- Palestine
- Published at:Tropical Medicine and International Hygiene
Parasite infections are amongst the most common infections worldwide. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of intestinal parasite infections in northern districts of West Bank, Palestine and to determine associated sociodemographic factors. The study involved a random sample of 735 school children of mean age 9.5 years old from rural and urban areas. Fecal samples were collected from participants alongside a questionnaire about their demographic and hygiene habits. Microscopy and PCR methods were performed to screen for protozoan and helminths parasites. The overall prevalence was 22.2%. The rates of infections with ameba, Giardia intestinalis, Entrobius vermicularis and Ascaris lumbricoides were 9.7%, 4.1%, 1.6% and 3.8%, respectively. Real-time PCR was performed to differentiate between Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar. Results showed that 14% of samples positive with microscopy for ameba were positive for E. histolytica. There was no significant association between sex and rates of infections (P-value>0.05). There were however significant association between parasite infections and parents education, place of residence, washing hands habits (P-value>0.05). No significant assiciation was found with number of family members or eating in school canteens (P-value>0.05). The study concludes endemic intestinal parasite infections in West Bank and thus recommends intervention programs including health education and sanitation.