Prevalence of Soil–Transmitted Helminth Infections and Associ-ated Risk Factors among Schoolchildren in Nakhon Si Thamma-rat, Thailand
Background: Soil–transmitted helminth infections constitute a public health problem in the rural areas of tropical and subtropical regions, including Thailand. We aimed to determine the prevalence of soil–transmitted helminth infections and underlying risk factors among the schoolchildren living in the rural areas of southern Thailand.
Methods: A cross–sectional survey was conducted between Sep and Nov 2018 in the district of Thasala, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. A total of 192 children, aged 6–12 yr were enrolled. Each child provided a single stool sample that was subjected to a suite of microscopic diagnoses for soil–transmitted helminth. A questionnaire was administered to determine risk factors of the infections. Logistic regression models were applied to investigate associations.
Results: The overall prevalence of soil–transmitted helminth infections was 3.13%; Strongyloides stercoralis 2.08%; hookworm 1.04% and Trichuris trichiura 0.52%. Children who cutting fingernails short can prevent soil–transmitted helminth infections highly up to 90% (crude OR = 0.1; 95% confidence interval = 0 – 0.8; P = 0.020).
Conclusion: The finding of the study shows a sharp decrease in the prevalence of soil–transmitted helminth among schoolchildren in the southern Thailand in the past two decades with prevalence dropping below 5% for soil–transmitted helminth. However, the prevalence of S. stercoralis remained stable over time. These results suggest that the culture method should be used to access strongyloidiasis situation in the older age group who greater contact with soil for agriculturists.
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