Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of protozoan parasites in a large semicommunal group in Los Angeles. Protozoan parasites were observed in 151 (69%) of the 220 group members in the study. Parasites were observed in stool specimens from 105 (76%) of the 138 children and 46 (56%) of the 82 adults. was observed in 115 (52%), in 50 (23%), in 9 (4%), and commensals in 61 (28%). Parasitic infection was infrequent in infants less than 1 year old, was demonstrated in 33 (89%) of the 2- to 4-year-olds, 69 (78%) of the 89 school age children 8–15 years of age, and in 46 (56%) of the 82 adults. was most prevalent in children younger than 6 years; whereas was common in all age groups. The fecal-oral route was the most likely means for parasite transmission. Since the group at times serves meals to the public, spread of parasites outside the community is a potential public health problem. Diagnosis of parasitic infection is dependent on optimal stool collection, proper laboratory techniques and trained personnel.


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