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Current Status of Human Hookworm Infections, Ascariasis, Trichuriasis, Schistosomiasis Mekongi and Other Trematodiases in Lao People's Democratic Republic

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  • Laboratory Unit, Centre of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR; Department of Parasitology and Research and Diagnostic Center for Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, and schistosomiasis and other trematodiases often have a high prevalence in developing countries. Here, we present updated information on the prevalence of these parasites in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in 2012, arising from the annual national helminthiasis survey. Fecal specimens were collected from 8,610 inhabitants of 12 provinces and one municipality (Bokeo, Houaphan, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, and Phongsaly Provinces from northern Lao PDR; Bolikhamxay and Xieng Khouang Provinces and Vientiane Municipality from the central part of the country; and Attapeu, Champasak, Saravan, and Sekong Provinces from southern Lao PDR). The overall prevalence of three major STHs, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) were 11.6%, 8.5%, and 25.0%, respectively. Prevalence of Schistosoma mekongi infection was 0.1%, and of miscellaneous trematodiases (including opisthorchiasis) was 14.0%. Clearly, the nationwide parasite control project is still necessary to reduce morbidity caused by helminthic diseases.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Pewpan M. Intapan, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. E-mail: pewpan@kku.ac.th

Financial support: This research was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Public Health, Lao PDR to SL, BH, BK, MP, and BP. OS, WM, and PMI, were supported by a TRF Senior Research Scholar Grant, Thailand Research Fund grant no. RTA5580004, the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, the Office of the Higher Education Commission through the Health Cluster (SHeP-GMS), and Khon Kaen University.

Authors' addresses: Sakhone Laymanivong, Bouasy Hangvanthong, Boualy Keokhamphavanh, Manisak Phommasansak, and Baunphone Phinmaland, Laboratory Unit, Centre of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR, E-mails: sakhone07@gmail.com, cmpelao@gmail.com, b.keokhamphavanh@gmail.com, manisak.pham@gmail.com, and baunphone.phin@gmail.com. Oranuch Sanpool, Wanchai Maleewong, and Pewpan M. Intapan, Department of Parasitology and Research and Diagnostic Center for Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, E-mails: sanpoolor@yahoo.com, wanch_ma@kku.ac.th, and pewpan@kku.ac.th.

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