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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-85

Prevalence of enteric parasitic diseases among patients referred at a teaching hospital in Kenya

1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
2 Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Chrispinus Siteti Mulambalah
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, P. O. Box: 4606-30100, Eldoret
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jhrr.jhrr_7_18

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Aim: Enteric parasitic diseases pose a serious public health problem worldwide and yet are neglected. To refocus attention on these diseases, a cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence of enteric infections in patients referred to referral hospital in Kenya. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted from April to December 2015 and involved a randomly selected sample of 185 patients. Fecal specimens were collected and delivered to laboratory for analysis. Preliminary macroscopic assessment of specimens for segments, larvae, and adult stages was done. To confirm the presence of ova, trophozoites, cysts, and oocysts, direct wet smear, formol–ether concentration, and modified Ziehl–Neelsen techniques were used. Results: Overall prevalence of 46.5% of enteric parasitic diseases was confirmed. Highest and lowest prevalence was due to protozoans and helminthes, respectively. Protozoan parasite prevalence was Entamoeba histolytica (23.9%), Cryptosporidium parvum (13%), Entamoeba coli (6.5%), Giardia lamblia (6.5%), and Iodamoeba butschlii (6.5%). Helminth prevalence was Ascaris lumbricoides (1.6%), Hymenolepis nana, Trichuris trichiura, and Ancylostoma duodenale each (0.5%). There was no significant difference in prevalence in age groups and gender (P = 0.05). Females were at the highest risk of C. parvum infection. Polyparasitism was prevalent among protozoans than helminthes. Conclusion: High prevalence of protozoan infections was observed among referred patients in comparison to helminthiasis. Based on reported multiple infections, deworming programs targeting helminthiasis should be restructured to incorporate diagnosis and treatment of enteric protozoan infections to reduce prevalence of enteric parasitic infections.

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