PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL PROTOZOA AMONG TODDLERS WITH GASTROINTESTINAL MANIFESTATIONS AND RELATED RISK FACTORS
Samah S. Abdel Gawad
Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Egypt.
Intestinal protozoa are a health problem in developing countries. The present study aimed to detect prevalence of intestinal protozoa and related risk factors among toddlers attending Beni-Suef University Hospital and the Hospital of Health Insurance. Stool samples were collected from 260 children suffering from gastrointestinal manifestations. All samples were examined macroscopically and microscopically by direct method after concentration techniques and staining (iodine, trichrome and acid fast stain). The overall prevalence of intestinal protozoa among toddlers was 25.38%, 3 cases 1.15% of them had double infections. From cases with intestinal protozoa, 14.23% were males and 11.15% were females, 15.38% from rural areas and 10% from urban areas. Giardia lamblia, Blastocystis spp., Entamoeba histolytica/dispar and cryptosporidium spp. were detected in (10.8%, 3.1%, 3.1% and 1.5% respectively). Detection of intestinal protozoa showed significant association with consistency of stool (more prevalent with loose stool), blood and mucus in stool (P< 0.05). Animal contact at home and residence were risk factors (P< 0.05), while non-pathogenic intestinal protozoa (Entamoeba coli) showed no association with any risk factor. We concluded that adequate mother health education programs for parasitic infections among toddlers are needed.