Prevalence of Giardia intestinalis and Hymenolepis nana in Afghan refugee population of Mianwali district, Pakistan.
Background: Present study aimed to investigate prevalence of Giardia intestinalis and Hymenolepis nana in Afghan refugees visiting Central Health Unit (CHU), Kot Chandana (Mianwali, Northern Punjab) during two years period (February 2007 to December 2009).
Methods: A total of 687 stool samples were collected from different age groups of both genders. Samples were processed under sterile conditions after gross examination. Microscopic examination was done on same day along with eggs (H. nana), cyst and trophozoites (G. intestinalis) detection after staining.
Results: The prevalence of G. intestinalis was significantly higher (x2=59.54, p<0.001) than that of H. nana. Females were found more likely to be infected as compared to males (OR: 1.40, 95% CI=1.03-1.92). Prevalence of both parasites decreased with age and highest prevalence was observed in young individuals belonging to 1-15 years of age group (41.8% and 48.7% respectively for H. nana and G. intestinalis, p<0.001). Abdominal distress (OR: 1.13, 95%CI=0.83-1.53), vomiting (OR: 1.13, 95%CI=1.13-1.81) and rectal prolapse (OR: 4.26, 95%CI=1.38-13.16) were the gastro-intestinal clinical symptoms observed in G. intestinalis. Whereas, bloody diarrhea (OR: 1.56, 95%CI=1.00-2.43) and rectal prolapse (OR: 5.79, 95%CI=1.87-17.91) were associated with H. nana infections.
Conclusions: Intestinal parasitic infections are common among Afghan refugees and serious preventive measures should be implemented to promote the safety and healthy lifestyle of these people.
Keywords: Giardia intestinalis, Hymenolepis nana, Prevalence, Afghan Refugees, Punjab.