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|Year : 1986 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 225-8
Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestation in rural area.
Hegde GR, Patel JC
|How to cite this article:|
Hegde G R, Patel J C. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestation in rural area. J Postgrad Med 1986;32:225
Intestinal parasitic infestations represent a large and serious medical and public health problem in developing countries. Cow levels of sanitation and hygiene characteristically give rise to high prevalence of soil transmitted helminths.
A study was carried out as a part of general health survey by Vasava Datta Foundation in Raita and Vaholi villages in Kalyan Tahsil of Thane district in Maharashtra to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestation. The same is being reported here.
Raita and Vaholi villages are similar in geoclimatic and socio-economic conditions. They are situated 10 meters above the sea level with an average yearly rainfall of 2455 mm. Maximum temperature is 34°C and minimum 20°C. Soil is latratic in nature. Out of 177 houses in Raita village and 100 in Vaholi village, 38% and 51% each were pucca or semipucca in construction and remaining were kutcha. The cattle shed formed a hart of the residence in 90% of cattle owners. Unfiltered and occasionally chlorinated water was supplied to both these villages from Ulhas river and there were two public wells each in the two villages.
The total population of the two villages was 2098. Out of that, 1689 (80.51%) were surveyed and 1450 (69.12%) investigated. The investigations included blood count, urine and stool examinations and were carried out in the laboratory set up in the village itself. Children below 10 years of age constituted 35.45% in the investigated subjects and male/female ratio was 1.077. Only 8.01% people investigated were above 50 years of age.
Age-specific prevalence of different parasites (helminths and protozoa) is given in [Table - 1]. Out of the total population investigated 90.62% had either helminthic or protozoal infestation. Ascaris lumbricoides was the predominent helminth noted whereas E. histolytica was the commonest protozoon found. The prevalence of A. lumbricoides and T. trichura was high in 6-30 years age-group but decreased as the age advanced. T. solium and A. duodenale, on the other hand, had increasing prevalence upto the age of 70. G. lamblia was prevalent in all the age-groups.
[Table - 2] indicates that there was no difference in males and females as regards the prevalence of parasites.
Relation of parasites to diet and occupation: In both the villages, 6.83% people were vegetarian and remaining were non vegetarian. Round-worms, whipworms and tapeworms were more common among, the non-vegetarians where as E. histolytica and E. coli prevailed to a similar extent among the both. There was no definite relation between the occupation and the parasitic infestation.
[Table - 3] shows prevalence of anaemia in different age groups. It was highest in the age-group of 5-10 years. [Table - 4] show different clinical findings noted in the population investigated. Diarrhoea dysentery, intestinal colic, pot belly, vitamin A deficiency and debility were the frequent findings which could be related to parasitic infestation.
The prevalence, of intestinal- helminthic and protozoal infestation was very high in both the villages. Ascariasis was the commonest helminthiasis. The prevalence of A. lumbricoides in these villages is quite high compared to that reported by others., , ,,,  Prevalence of anaemia was quite high in these villages probably due to heavy parasitic infestation. It hay been reported that ascariasis leads to malabsorption and diarrhoea and can lead to Vitamin A deficiency. Hookworm nor only causes iron deficiency anaemia due to blood loss but also produces malabsorption of protein, folic acid and vitamin. B12.
Heavy infestation due to E. histolytica, (13.24%) was found in this population. It is in concurrence with other studies., , , ,  E. histolytica has a higher affinity for host's iron. G. lamblia was prevalent to a lower extent (2.48%)., 
Diarrhoea, dysentery. and intestinal colic, were the gastro-intestinal complaints (14.14%) whereas vitamin A deficiency and anaemia were the malnutritional findings associated with parasitic load in these villages. Jung and Beaver have shown that a massive infestation with T. trichura in the lower bowel results in anorexia, indigestion, colitis, passage of bloody stools and prolapse of the rectum. High prevalence of parasitic infestation in these villages was probably due to factors like poor standard of living, lack of sanitation, and lack of pure water supply.
The authors are grateful to the trustees of Vasava Dutta Foundation for providing with facilities to carry out this study and rise the records of Rural Medical Research Centres, Raita and Vaholi.