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Patterns and Risk Factors of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Among Orang Asli Subgroups in Peninsular Malaysia

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  • Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Orang Asli Development, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, West Block, Wisma Selangor Dredging, 142-C, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A cross-sectional study was conducted to provide comprehensive data on the patterns and associated risk factors of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections among five Orang Asli subgroups in Peninsular Malaysia. The overall prevalence of STH infections was 59.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 56.1–63.7%). Trichuris trichiura (54.3%; 95% CI = 50.4–58.2%) was the predominant species followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (26.7%; 95% CI = 23.3–30.1%) and hookworm (9.1%; 95% CI = 6.9–11.3%). This study showed diversity for STH infections by subgroup with poverty and personal sanitary behavior as important risk factors for infection. Risk profile analyses indicating that Orang Kuala subgroup who has a generally well-developed infrastructure and better quality of life had a low rate of infection. There is a need for poverty reduction and promotion of deworming programs along with mass scale campaigns to create awareness about health and hygiene to reduce STH infections.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Romano Ngui, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: romano@um.edu.my

Financial support: This study was supported by the UM/MoHE High Impact Research (H-20001-00-E000061), E-Science (16-02-03-6034), and BKP 007-2014 grant. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, analysis and preparation, or decision to publish the manuscript.

Authors' addresses: Romano Ngui, Roslan Muhammad Aidil, Soo Ching Lee, Tiong Kai Tan, Mahmud Rohela, and Yvonne A. L. Lim, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mails: romano@um.edu.my, aidil_lanang@ymail.com, eustacialee@gmail.com, stanley.monas@gmail.com, arineahmad@um.edu. my.rohela@ummc.edu.my, and limailian@um.edu.my. Shafie Aziz, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail: azizs@um.edu.my. Kek Heng Chua, Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail: khchua@um.edu.my. Mistam Mohd Sani, Department of Orang Asli Development, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Wisma Selangor Dredging, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail: romano_sky05@yahoo.com.

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