Prevalence of intestinal parasites among children referred to Children's Medical Center during 18 years (1991-2008), Tehran, Iran

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2011 Oct;105(7):507-12. doi: 10.1179/1364859411Y.0000000040.


Epidemiological studies show that parasitic inections are among the most common infections and one of the biggest health problems of the society worldwide. Children at school age have the highest morbidity compared with other ages. Therefore, by treating these children, the disease burden in the total population is reduced. In this study, prevalence of parasitic infection in children referred to Children's Medical Center was compared in different years. In this retrospective cross-sectional study, the subjects were children under 13 years who were referred to Children's Medical Center Laboratory during 18 years (1991-2008) and underwent stool exam by any reason. The specimens were evaluated by different common methods of stool parasitology. In suspected cases, parasites was cultured in specific medium and stained as needed. Required data were obtained from the laboratory files and analysed according to study's purpose. Subjects were 124 366 children. Among them, 0.78% of cases had parasitic infections and 60.54% cases were male. Parasitic infections were related to protozoa in 95.33% cases and intestinal worms in 4.87%. Of them, 50.352% were pathogenic protozoa. The most parasitic infection was Giardia lamblia. Among intestinal worms, the highest prevalence was related to Hymenolepis nana (40.7%). A comparison between the first 10 years and the next 8 years of the study showed that the prevalence of intestinal parasites were 8% and 1% (P < 0.001) and the rate for protozoal infection were 14.9% and 4.3%, respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence of intestinal parasites was reduced during recent years; however, more attempts should be performed to make it lower.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feces / parasitology*
  • Female
  • Helminthiasis / diagnosis
  • Helminthiasis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Protozoan Infections / diagnosis
  • Protozoan Infections / epidemiology*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies