Irfan Ali Mirza, Syed Yousaf Kazmi, Muhammad Yasir


Intestinal parasitic infestation is a common condition in
developing as well as developed countries. According to
WHO Global Burden of Disease 2004 report,
approximately 150.9 million of world population has
high intensity infection by intestinal nematode while
37.7 million people alone from south East Asia are
infected.1 Among developing countries like Pakistan,
intestinal parasitic infestation is mainly an ailment of
children due to poor personal hygiene. Adults, however,
acquire the illness due to social and socioeconomic
reasons compounded by the lack of elementary
education about common human parasitic diseases.
A descriptive non-interventional study was carried out
in the Department of Pathology, Combined Military
Hospital, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan from 1st June 2007
till 31st May 2008. The objectives of the study were to
determine the prevalence and spectrum of intestinal
parasitic infestation among the population of District
Dera Ismail Khan. Subjects of all age and either gender
were included in the study that was referred by the
physicians for screening of intestinal parasites. Children
were defined as individuals less than 12 years of age.
Those on anti-parasitic medication were excluded from
the study. A total of 1713 non-duplicate subjects were
included during this period. The results were analysed
using SPSS-10.
All the stool specimens were processed within
15 minutes of submission to the lab. The fresh stool
samples from these subjects were examined by saline
preparation for identification of trophozoite forms and
worms. Ova and cysts of parasites in the stool were
identified by Formal ether concentration technique. The
vegetative and cyst forms of parasites along with the
ova were first screened by the lab technician and later
confirmed by the microbiologist.
Out of total 1713 stool samples processed during the
study period, a total of 356 samples were positive for
intestinal parasites. None of the subject had two or more
than two parasitic infestation. Taenia saginata was the
most frequently observed parasite with 270 positive
samples (15.76%). Giardia lamblia (both vegetative and
cyst forms) was the second most common parasite with
53 positive samples (3.09%). H. nana, Ancylostoma
duodenale, and Entamoeba histolytica (vegetative form
only) were the rest of the parasites identified with
descending frequencies of 23, 5 and 3 positive samples
respectively. Ascaris lumbricoides was the least
frequently observed parasite with only 2 stool samples
showing the ova of the said parasite. The results are
shown in Table-1.
Table-1: Spectrum and percentage of parasites
Parasite SPP Total Male Female Children %
Taenia saginata 270 208 35 27 15.76
Giardia lamblia 53 36 5 12 3.09
H. nana 23 19 3 1 1.34
A. duodenale 5 3 2 - 0.29
E. histolytica 3 3 - - 0.17
Ascaris lumbricoides 2 2 - - 0.11
Total 356 271 45 40 20.78
Mainly male subjects had intestinal parasitic
infestation (n=271) compared to females (n=45). The
result was statistically significant (p<0.005) despite the
fact that the total number of specimens submitted to the
lab were almost comparable in number for both male
and female subjects.

Full Text:



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[online]. Last Modified: 12 May 2008 (Accessed on 9 Jan

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