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Infections with helminths and other intestinal parasites are an important but neglected problem in children in developing countries. Accurate surveys of intestinal parasites in children inform empirical treatment regimens and can assess the impact of school based drug treatment programmes. There is limited information on this topic in Cambodia.In a prospective study of intestinal parasites in symptomatic children attending Angkor Hospital for Children, Siem Reap, Cambodia, April-June 2012, samples were examined by microscopy of a direct and concentrated fecal sample. Two culture methods for hookworm and Strongyloides stercoralis were employed when sufficient sample was received. Demographic, clinical and epidemiological data were collected.We studied 970 samples from 865 children. The median (inter-quartile range) age of the children was 5.4 (1.9-9.2) years, 54% were male. The proportion of children with abdominal pain was 66.8%, diarrhea 34.9%, anemia 12.7% and malnutrition 7.4%. 458 parasitic infections were detected in 340 (39.3%) children. The most common parasites using all methods of detection were hookworm (14.3%), Strongyloides stercoralis (11.6%) and Giardia lamblia (11.2%). Giardia lamblia was most common in children aged 1-5 years, hookworm and Strongyloides stercoralis were more common with increasing age. Hookworm, Strongloides stercoralis and Giardia lamblia were more common in children living outside of Siem Reap town. In a multivariate logistic regression increasing age was associated with all three infections, defecating in the forest for hookworm infection, the presence of cattle for S. stercoralis and not using soap for handwashing for G. lamblia.This study confirms the importance of intestinal parasitic infections in symptomatic Cambodian children and the need for adequate facilities for laboratory diagnosis together with education to improve personal hygiene and sanitation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0123719

Type

Journal article

Journal

Plos one

Publication Date

01/2015

Volume

10

Addresses

Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine Research Building, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7FZ.

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Strongyloides stercoralis, Ancylostomatoidea, Giardia lamblia, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Risk Factors, Prospective Studies, Child, Child, Preschool, Infant, Cambodia, Female, Male