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Changing patterns in the prevalence of intestinal parasites at the University Hospital of the West Indies (1964-1981)






West Indian Medical Journal 31(3): 111-120

Changing patterns in the prevalence of intestinal parasites at the University Hospital of the West Indies (1964-1981)

Based on faecal examination of patients with enteric problems, and children up to 12 years old, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica, from 1964 to 1981, it was seen that the prevalence of hookworm fell steadily from 8.7% in 1964 to a minimum of 1.0% in 1978. Ascaris lumbricoides peaked at 9.0% in 1973 and fell to 4.7% in 1980 and 1981. Infection with Trichuris trichiura increased from 9.6% in 1964 to a maximum of 24.1% in 1973, but fell to 11.1% in 1979. Strongyloides stercoralis infection was present in 1.8% in 1964 and reached a minimum of 0.6% in 1974; in 1981 it had risen to 1.6%. Giardia lamblia fell from 9.2% in 1964 to about 4.5% in 1967, but had increased to 7.7% in 1968; from 1979 to 1981 the prevalence ranged from 5.4 to 6.3%. In general, about 250 faecal samples were examined each month (maximum 369, minimum 104). Ascariasis, trichuriasis and giardiasis were commonest in the one- to 5-year-old group, with prevalence declining very sharply outside this age range. Generally there were low densities of ascarid and trichurid eggs in faeces, but more than half the giardiasis cases had very high cyst numbers. Strongyloidiasis had its peak prevalence and larval density in the 40- to 49-year-old group. Enterobius vermicularis and Taenia saginata occurred at low levels. Entamoeba coli (in 6.1%) was the commonest non-pathogen; E. histolytica has not been recorded for 5 years.

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Accession: 001053089

PMID: 7179934



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