Prevalence of intestinal parasite infections with special reference to Entamoeba histolytica on the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea).

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  • 1 Servicio de Parasitología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections was assessed (1993 through 1995) among two different groups of persons on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. In the first group, parasitologic examinations were performed on stool specimens from a household-based sample of 557 dwellers from the rural area of the island. In the second group, 1,633 inpatients and outpatients at the General Hospital of Malabo (the capital of the country) were studied. All age groups were represented in both groups. The average prevalence of the most common protozoan and helminthic intestinal infections in rural and urban areas, respectively, was as follows: Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (14.9% and 32.7%, respectively), Giardia lamblia (7.2% and 8.6%), Ascaris lumbricoides (45.8% and 31.4%), and Trichuris trichiura (25.7% and 36.4%). Seventy-nine sera from patients with amebic liver abscess (suspected by ultrasonography) were studied by an immunohemagglutination assay, with 44 (56%) showing anti-E. histolytica titers > or = 1:32. Of these 79 sera, 71 were studied by an enzyme immunoassay, 86% of which were positive with titers > or = 1:64. This study showed that parasitic infections in Equatorial Guinea represent a major health problem.

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