Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Teenagers have a high prevalence of ascariasis in low-income countries with endemic disease, and their hygienic behaviors and access to proper sanitation may be limited in rapidly urbanizing settings. We studied university students in Kabul to estimate the proportion with ascariasis and determine the prevalence of risk factors for infection. Ascariasis was assessed through microscopy for 520 students attending Kabul Medical University. Overall, 15.8% of students were infected. Living in a hostel (21.2% versus 10.4% in houses) using well water (27.7% versus 9.7% for piped water), eating street food (29.4% versus 3.0% for those who do not), and eating unwashed vegetables (63.6% versus 8.8% for those who do not) were risk factors for infection. Recent city migrants who live in group hostels, including students, are important targets for interventions to reduce ascariasis. Such interventions could include encouraging individuals to prepare their own food and use only potable water.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Parasites—Ascariasis. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/ascariasis/index.html. Accessed September 29, 2016. [Google Scholar]
  2. Pullan RL, Smith JL, Jasrasaria R, Brooker SJ, , 2014. Global numbers of infection and disease burden of soil transmitted helminth infections in 2010. Parasit Vectors 7: 37.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. Hall A, Anwar KS, Tomkins A, Rahman L, , 1999. The distribution of Ascaris lumbricoides in human hosts: a study of 1765 people in Bangladesh. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 93: 503510.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  4. Hall A, Hewitt G, Tuffrey V, De Silva N, , 2008. A review and meta-analysis of the impact of intestinal worms on child growth and nutrition. Matern Child Nutr 4 (Suppl 1): 118236.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Bethony J, Brooker S, Albonico M, Geiger SM, Loukas A, Diemert D, Hotez PJ, , 2006. Soil-transmitted helminth infections: ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm. Lancet 367: 15211532.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  6. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2015. UNHCR—Afghanistan. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e486eb6.html. Accessed November 12, 2015. [Google Scholar]
  7. Varkey S, Higgins-Steele A, Mashal T, Hamid BA, Bhutta ZA, , 2015. Afghanistan in transition: call for investment in nutrition. Lancet Glob Health 3: e13e14.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014. Afghanistan. Available at: http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/Country-Profiles/. Accessed October 15, 2015. [Google Scholar]
  9. Marsden P, , 2003. Afghanistan: the reconstruction process. Int Aff 79: 91105.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Gabrielli AF, Ramsan M, Naumann C, Tsogzolmaa D, , 2005. Soil-transmitted helminths and haemoglobin status among Afghan children in World Food Programme assisted schools. J Helminthol 79: 381384.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  11. Cairncross S, Blumenthal U, Kolsky P, Moraes L, Tayeh A, , 1996. The public and domestic domains in the transmission of disease. Trop Med Int Health 1: 2734.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  12. Ranjan S, Passi SJ, Singh SN, , 2013. Prevalence and risk factors associated with the presence of soil-transmitted helminths in children studying in Municipal Corporation of Delhi Schools of Delhi, India. J Parasit Dis 39: 377384.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Nishiura H, Imai H, Nakao H, Tsukino H, , 2002. Ascaris lumbricoides among children in rural communities in the northern area, Pakistan: prevalence, intensity, and associated socio-cultural and behavioral risk factors. Acta Trop 83: 223231.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. Traub RJ, Robertson ID, Irwin P, Mencke N, Thompson RCA, , 2004. The prevalence, intensities and risk factors associated with geohelminth infection in tea-growing communities of Assam, India. Trop Med Int Health 9: 688701.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  15. GeoHive, 2016. Afghanistan: Administrative Units, Extended. Available at: http://www.geohive.com/cntry/afghanistan_ext.aspx. Accessed June 27, 2016. [Google Scholar]
  16. Setchell CA, Luther CN, , 2009. Kabul, Afghanistan: a case study in responding to urban displacement. Humanit Exch Mag 45: 3336. [Google Scholar]
  17. Mubarak MY, Wagner AL, Asami M, Carlson BF, Boulton ML, , 2016. Hygienic practices and diarrheal illness among persons living in at-risk settings in Kabul, Afghanistan: a cross-sectional study. BMC Infect Dis 16: 459.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. Tadesse G, , 2005. The prevalence of intestinal helminthic infections and associated risk factors among school children in Babile town, eastern Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Dev 19: 140147.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. Vollaard A, Ali S, van Asten HAGH, Ismid IS, Widjaja S, Visser LG, Surjadi C, van Dissel JT, , 2004. Risk factors for transmission of foodborne illness in restaurants and street vendors in Jakarta, Indonesia. Epidemiol Infect 132: 863872.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Periago MV, Diniz RC, Pinto SA, Yakovleva A, Correa- R, Diemert DJ, Bethony JM, , 2015. The right tool for the job : detection of soil-transmitted helminths in areas co-endemic for other helminths. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9: e0003967.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

Supplemental Table

  • Received : 09 Dec 2016
  • Accepted : 13 Mar 2017
  • Published online : 08 May 2017

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error