Prevalence of intestinal parasites among individuals with allergic skin diseases

J Parasitol. 2003 Jun;89(3):490-2. doi: 10.1645/0022-3395(2003)089[0490:POIPAI]2.0.CO;2.


The prevalence of intestinal protozoans and helminths in stool samples of individuals with allergic cutaneous symptoms was evaluated to study a possible link between parasites and allergy. Altogether, 218 patients who had chronic urticaria, atopic dermatitis, or pruritus of unknown origin were included in the study. Standard laboratory tests for the detection of allergic etiology were performed for all patients. The presence of intestinal parasites was investigated using microscopy, immunofluorescence, and immunoenzymatic assays. Overall, protozoans and helminths were recovered from the stools of 48 subjects (P = 0.004), 18 of whom were affected with intestinal symptoms (P = 0.023). The presence of Giardia lamblia in the stools was significantly associated with allergic cutaneous manifestations (P = 0.030). In addition, patients with allergy were significantly more likely to have > or = 5 Blastocystis hominis organisms per field (P = 0.046). There was a set of patients with allergic cutaneous diseases in whom the presence of intestinal parasites may not be incidental.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Helminthiasis / complications
  • Helminthiasis / epidemiology
  • Helminthiasis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Protozoan Infections / complications
  • Protozoan Infections / epidemiology
  • Protozoan Infections / immunology
  • Pruritus / complications
  • Urticaria / complications*