Prevalence of Intestinal Protozoa Infections and Associated Risk Factors among Schoolchildren in Sanandaj City, Iran
Background: Intestinal parasites are still a serious public health problem in the world, especially in developing countries. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of intestinal protozoa infections and associated risk factors among schoolchildren in Sanandaj City, Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study involving 400 schoolchildren was carried out in 2015. Each student was selected using systematic random sampling method. Questionnaire and observation were used to identify possible risk factors. Fresh stool samples were observed using formal-ether concentration method.
Results: Five species of intestinal protozoa were identified with an overall prevalence of 42.3%. No cases of helminthes infection were detected. The predominant protozoa were Blastocys hominis (21.3%) and Entamoeba coli (4.5%). Overall, 143 (35.9%) had single infections and 26 (6.4%) were infected with more than one intestinal protozoa, in which 23 (5.9%) had double intestinal protozoa infections and 3 (0.5%) had triple infections. A significant relationship was observed between intestinal protozoa infection with economic status, water resources for drinking uses, and the methods of washing vegetables (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Education programs on students and their families should be implemented for the prevention and control of protozoa infections in the study area.
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