Intestinal Parasites among Foreign Junior Staff of King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • CS Bello
  • SE Abdulla
  • T Al-Azraqi


To determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites among foreign junior staff working in the College of Medicine of King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Stool analysis and Helicobacter pylori stool antigen test are offered freely to our staff as part of routine medical examination in our Department. The candidates for this study thus volunteered themselves. Nonetheless, their consent was sought for this additional test. This study took place between September 2006 and February, 2007. Fresh stool samples collected first thing in the morning in wide-mouthed clean, dry and grease-free containers were preserved in 10% formal-saline. The samples were concentrated using the formol-ether technique and examined for parasites. Sixty-five (65) junior staff, all of Asian origin, participated in the study. Twenty-four (24) 37%, had no parasites in their stool, while 41 (63%), were positive. Out of the forty-one (41) who had stool parasites, nineteen (19) had only one (1) parasite each, sixteen (16) had two (2), four (4) had three (3), one (1) had four (4) and one (1) had six (6). The commonest parasite was Trichuris trichiura (28), followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (19), and Hookworm sp. (15). (Table 1). Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba coli were the only protozoa identified. Those found positive were treated at the College Clinic. Poly-parasitism, two or more parasites per person, was common among these workers (22/41, 54%). The preponderance of Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides, suggests that feco-oral route constitutes an important route of acquisition and transmission. Employers of this category of workers in food and vegetable industries, must ensure they are regularly screened and if found to be infected, promptly treated to interrupt transmission of these parasites to the community.

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 53 (4) 2008: pp. 66-69

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