Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites among Food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran
AbstractBackground: Parasitic intestinal infections are still among socioeconomic problems in the world, especially in developing countries like Iran. Food-handlers that directly deal with production and distribution of foods between societies are one of the most important sources to transmit parasitic infections to humans. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1021 feces samples were randomly collected from food-handlers in Shiraz, central Iran from August to September 2013. Two different methods, routine direct fecal examination and Formalin –Ethyl acetate concentration as a complementary technique, were done to detect parasites.Results: The prevalence of parasitic organisms was 10.4% in the food-handlers. The most species of the protozoan parasites were G. lamblia, E. coli and B. hominis; meanwhile, only one infection by H. nana (0.1%) was detected in this group. Mixed infections were observed in 13.2% (n=14/106) of positive cases. The majority of participants were male (57%); however, data analysis showed significant statistical difference in the rate of infection between females 11.9% (n=53/444) and males 9% (n=52/577) (P=0. 024). There was no significant statistical difference in the rate of infection among different educational and occupation groups.Conclusion: Although decreasing of helminthic infections is distinct, but infecting with protozoan parasites is still important in food-handlers. Concentration technique is more useful than direct smear technique, especially for detection parasites in low number. High level of education in our study showed that training courses in this group could be effective in the implementation of control and prevention programs.
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