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PREVALENCE OF HETEROPHYES NOCENS AND PYGYDIOPSIS SUMMA INFECTIONS AMONG RESIDENTS OF THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN COASTAL ISLANDS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea; Department of Parasitology, Kangwon National University College of Medicine, Chunchon, Korea; Korea Association of Health Promotion, Seoul, Korea

To determine the distribution and prevalence of heterophyid fluke infections on coastal islands of the Republic of Korea, fecal specimens were collected from 4,179 people residing on 45 islands in the West (Yellow) and South Seas and examined using the formalin-ether and Kato-Katz techniques. Eggs of Heterophyes nocens were found in 459 (11.0%) residents of 42 islands, with an average number of eggs per gram (epg) of feces of 79.6. Eggs of Pygidiopsis summa were found in 49 (1.2%) on 12 islands, with an average epg of 253.0. The egg-positive rate for H. nocens was the highest on Chungdo (32.6%), followed by Imchado (27.3%); P. summa was most prevalent on Imchado (15.2%). The majority (78.9% [362 of 549] of those infected with H. nocens and 81.6% [40 of 49] of those infected with P. summa) of those infected were adults more than 40 years old. Adult flukes of these species were recovered from residents of Imchado by treatment with praziquantel and purgation. Our results indicate that H. nocens and P. summa are indigenous to the southern and western coastal islands of the Republic of Korea.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Jong-Yil Chai, Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul 110-799, Korea, E-mail: cjy@plaza.snu.ac.kr.
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