Intestinal parasites in children hospitalized at the Central Hospital in Maputo, Mozambique
Introduction: Intestinal parasites are important contributors to the global disease burden, especially in children of low-income countries.
The present study determined the frequency of intestinal parasites in children hospitalized at the diarrhea section of the Infectious-Contagious Diseases ward and at the Malnutrition ward of the Department of Pediatrics of the Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique.
Methodology: This pilot study conducted between February and March 2009 enrolled a total of 93 children between 1.5 and 48.2 months of age; 87.1% were younger than 24 months. Parasite detection in stool samples was achieved using direct microscopic observation and Ritchie’s concentration technique.
Results: Infection with pathogenic intestinal parasites was detected in 16.1% (15/93) of the children. Giardia duodenalis and Trichuris trichiura were the most common parasites (6.5%, 6/93 each), followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (2.2%, 2/93). One case of mixed infection with A. lumbricoides plus T. trichiura was also detected.
Conclusion: This study reinforces the importance of routinely examining stool samples for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites (including protozoa) in children hospitalized in endemic areas.
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