Background: Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections worldwide. About 3.5 million people around the world are estimated to be affected as a result of these infections, the majority being children. Opportunistic parasitic infections cause severe diarrhea, especially in infants, and can be fatal in acute diseases.
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection with special emphasis to opportunistic parasites in pediatric age group.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted at the Department of Microbiology, CU Shah Medical College and Hospital, Gujarat, India, on stool samples received from children from January 2011 to January 2012. Detailed clinical history along with details of sociodemographic factors, literacy level, and hygiene habits were obtained. Saline and iodine mount and modified Ziehl–Neelsen stained preparation were examined microscopically.
Result: Of 180 patients enrolled in the study, 99 (55%) were males and 81 (45%) were females. In this study, prevalence of intestinal parasites was 13.3%; among these, 3.33% were Entamoeba histolytica, 5% were Giardia lamblia, 3.33% Cryptosporidium parvum, 1.11% Ascaris lumbricoides, and 0.55% Ancylostoma duodenale. Highest number of parasitic infections was seen in the age group of 6–10 years and opportunistic parasites were more prevalent in the age group of
Parasitic infection in children, opportunistic parasites, predisposing factors