Pattern of intestinal parasitic infection in preschool children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

J Hyg Epidemiol Microbiol Immunol. 1989;33(3):253-9.


A total of 1,167 stool specimens collected from 0.6-6 years old patients attending King Abdel Aziz University Hospital (KAUH) in Riyadh, were examined for intestinal parasites. Of these 243 (20.8%) were positive. Giardia lamblia (13.5) and Enterobius vermicularis (4.2%), were the commonest parasites found. Other parasites present include Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica and Hymenolepis nana. Abdominal pain (38.6%) and diarrhoea (27.6%) were the most common causes of referral presented among both males and females examined groups. Out of 211 patients positive for different parasites and showing different causes of referral, 45.5% were accompanied with abdominal pain and 22.3% having pruritus ani, while the percentage of patients having diarrhoea and positive for different parasites (9.5%) are less. It has been concluded that diarrhoea is not a major sign of parasitic infestation in 0.6-6 years old age group. Other causes of referral include, loss of appetite, underweight and failure to thrive which are mainly associated with Giardia lamblia infection.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Ascariasis / epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dysentery, Amebic / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Giardiasis / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hymenolepiasis / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Oxyuriasis / epidemiology
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors