• Irfan Ali Mirza
  • Syed Yousaf Kazmi
  • Muhammad Yasir


Intestinal parasitic infestation is a common condition indeveloping as well as developed countries. According toWHO Global Burden of Disease 2004 report,approximately 150.9 million of world population hashigh intensity infection by intestinal nematode while37.7 million people alone from south East Asia areinfected.1 Among developing countries like Pakistan,intestinal parasitic infestation is mainly an ailment ofchildren due to poor personal hygiene. Adults, however,acquire the illness due to social and socioeconomicreasons compounded by the lack of elementaryeducation about common human parasitic diseases.MATERIAL AND METHODSA descriptive non-interventional study was carried outin the Department of Pathology, Combined MilitaryHospital, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan from 1st June 2007till 31st May 2008. The objectives of the study were todetermine the prevalence and spectrum of intestinalparasitic infestation among the population of DistrictDera Ismail Khan. Subjects of all age and either genderwere included in the study that was referred by thephysicians for screening of intestinal parasites. Childrenwere defined as individuals less than 12 years of age.Those on anti-parasitic medication were excluded fromthe study. A total of 1713 non-duplicate subjects wereincluded during this period. The results were analysedusing SPSS-10.All the stool specimens were processed within15 minutes of submission to the lab. The fresh stoolsamples from these subjects were examined by salinepreparation for identification of trophozoite forms andworms. Ova and cysts of parasites in the stool wereidentified by Formal ether concentration technique. Thevegetative and cyst forms of parasites along with theova were first screened by the lab technician and laterconfirmed by the microbiologist.RESULTSOut of total 1713 stool samples processed during thestudy period, a total of 356 samples were positive forintestinal parasites. None of the subject had two or morethan two parasitic infestation. Taenia saginata was themost frequently observed parasite with 270 positivesamples (15.76%). Giardia lamblia (both vegetative andcyst forms) was the second most common parasite with53 positive samples (3.09%). H. nana, Ancylostomaduodenale, and Entamoeba histolytica (vegetative formonly) were the rest of the parasites identified withdescending frequencies of 23, 5 and 3 positive samplesrespectively. Ascaris lumbricoides was the leastfrequently observed parasite with only 2 stool samplesshowing the ova of the said parasite. The results areshown in Table-1.Table-1: Spectrum and percentage of parasitesisolatedParasite SPP Total Male Female Children %Taenia saginata 270 208 35 27 15.76Giardia lamblia 53 36 5 12 3.09H. nana 23 19 3 1 1.34A. duodenale 5 3 2 - 0.29E. histolytica 3 3 - - 0.17Ascaris lumbricoides 2 2 - - 0.11Total 356 271 45 40 20.78Mainly male subjects had intestinal parasiticinfestation (n=271) compared to females (n=45). Theresult was statistically significant (p<0.005) despite thefact that the total number of specimens submitted to thelab were almost comparable in number for both maleand female subjects.


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

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