Schistosomiasis in Saudi Arabian Recruits

A Morbidity Study Based on Quantitative Egg Excretion

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  • Division of Infectious Diseases, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Parasitology Division, Southwest Foundation for Research and Education, Lackland AFB, Texas 78236

We surveyed stool and urine specimens from 245 Saudi Arabian trainees for parasites. Schistosoma mansoni eggs were found in the stool in 66 (26.9%) and S. haematobium eggs were recovered from the urine in 1 (0.4%). Additional parasites were recovered in 167 (68.2%) of the survey group and were not more common in those with schistosomiasis (P > .10). Schistosome egg counts ranged from 0–6,320 eggs/g feces (mean 447.9). When patients with high egg counts (over 400 eggs/g) were compared with uninfected controls, abdominal complaints and fatigue were found to be more frequent (P < .05) in the infected group, as was eosinophilia (P < .001). Other laboratory and physical examination findings were equally present in both groups. This study reaffirms the value of quantitative examination of stool specimens for schistosome eggs.

Author Notes

Present address: Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.