Fecal occult blood testing on Trichuris-infected primary school children in northeastern peninsular Malaysia.

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  • 1 Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Stool specimens of 104 primary schoolchildren (mean+/-SD age = 8.2+/-0.3 years) were examined for helminth eggs and for occult blood to investigate the possibility that trichuriasis causes occult intestinal bleeding in the absence of the overt Trichuris dysentery syndrome. A commercially available guaiac test was used to detect fecal occult blood. Sixty-one children had Trichuris infection, 11 of whom had heavy infections (> 10,000 eggs per gram of feces [epg]), and 53 had Ascaris infections. No hookworm infection was detected. Baseline screening yielded only one weakly positive occult blood test result in a child with a light (800 epg) Trichuris infection. Serial stool occult blood testing on the 11 subjects with heavy trichuriasis and 8 uninfected controls yielded a single weakly positive result in the control group. The results provide no evidence that trichuriasis predisposes to significant occult gastrointestinal bleeding in children in the absence of the dysenteric syndrome.