Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites among the Malnourished Children in Enugu, Nigeria
Annual Research & Review in Biology,
Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) have remained a serious challenge to developing countries. Infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies can impact adversely on the nutritional status of children. Hence, this study aimed at investigating prevalence of Intestinal parasitic infections among malnourished children in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria. It was a case-controlled study consisting of 164 malnourished children and 100 well-nourished subjects between the ages of 0-10 years whose caregivers gave their consent. Anthropometric measures were evaluated using the Gomez system of classification. Stool samples were analyzed using standard parasitological protocols. Of the 164 malnourished children 52(31.7%), 63(38.4%), 49(29.9%) had mild, moderate, and severe malnutrition respectively. Five species of helminths and three species of protozoa were detected. The overall prevalence was 51.8% among the malnourished and 12% in well-nourished children. The prevalence of IPIs among the control, mild, moderate, and severe malnutrition were 12%, 36.5%, 60.3%, and 57.1% respectively. Ascaris lumbricoides ranked highest 40(37.7%) followed by Hookworm 31(29.3%) and the least was Strongyloides stercoralis 4(3.8%) among the helminths while Cryptosporidium spp was the most prevalent protozoa 8(7.6%) and the least was Isospora spp. 2(1.9%). Mixed infections were detected in 3(7.5%) and 6(21.4%) among children with moderate and severe malnutrition respectively. Nutritional status was found to be a significant risk factor while gender and age were statistically insignificant P= 0.118 and P= 0.455 respectively. The study revealed that malnourished children are highly susceptible to IPIs. There is a need for integrated effort to address malnutrition and parasitic infections
- Intestinal parasites
- malnourished children
How to Cite
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