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Urban versus Rural Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites Using Multi-Parallel qPCR in Colombia

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  • 1 Laboratory of Human Parasitology, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas;
  • 2 Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical, Universidad CES, Medellín, Colombia

ABSTRACT

Stool samples from 122 children living in an urban slum (n = 72) and rural (n = 50) areas were analyzed using multi-parallel real-time quantitative PCR to determine intestinal prevalence parasites from two communities in Colombia. Findings indicated a prevalence of 86.1% Blastocystis spp., 62.5% Giardia intestinalis, 19.4% Cryptosporidium spp., 19.4% Ascaris lumbricoides, and 5.6% Trichuris trichiura in an urban slum; and 76% Blastocystis spp., 68% G. intestinalis, 20% Entamoeba histolytica, 50% A. lumbricoides, 46% T. trichiura, and 2% Strongyloides stercoralis in rural areas. Polyparasitism was higher in rural (58%) than urban (25%) areas (P = 0.001). Trichuris trichiura burden was higher in the rural area (P = 0.002). Over 40% of helminthic infections in rural areas had a heavy parasite burden by WHO classification. Over half of urban and rural children were infected with G. intestinalis and Blastocystis spp. Our data provide accurate epidemiologic surveillance for public health interventions.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Rojelio Mejia, Laboratory of Human Parasitology, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, BCM 113, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: rmejia@bcm.edu

Authors’ addresses: Patricia E. Bryan and Rojelio Mejia, Baylor College of Medicine, National School of Tropical Medicine, Houston, TX, E-mails: patricia.bryan@bcm.edu and rojelio.mejia@bcm.edu. Marcela Romero, Miryan Sánchez, Giovanny Torres, Wilber Gómez, and Marcos Restrepo, Department of Microbiology, Instituto Colombiano de Medicina tropical - Univerisidad CES, Medellín, Colombia, E-mails: iromero@ces.edu.co, msanchez@ces.edu.co, gtorres@ces.edu.co, wgomez@ces.edu.co, and mrestrepoi@gmail.com. Alejandro Restrepo, Baylor College of Medicine, National School of Tropical Medicine, Houston, TX, and Department of Microbiology, Instituto Colombiano de Medicina tropical - Univerisidad CES, Medellín, Colombia, E-mail: alejorpo75@yahoo.com.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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