Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in children from a rural community taking part in a periodic deworming program in the Peruvian Amazon

Renato A. Errea, George Vasquez-Rios, Maria L. Calderon, Diego Siu, Kevin R. Duque, Luciana H. Juarez, Rodrigo Gallegos, Celene Uriol, Claudia R. Rondon, Katia P. Baca, Rosario J. Fabian, Marco Canales, Angelica Terashima, Luis A. Marcos, Frine Samalvides

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8 Scopus citations


Children in the Peruvian Amazon Basin are at risk of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) infections. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of STH infection in children from a rural Amazonian community of Peru and to elucidate epidemiological risk factors associated with its perpetuation while on a school-based deworming program with mebendazole. Stool samples of children aged 2–14 years and their mothers were analyzed through direct smear analysis, Kato–Katz, spontaneous sedimentation in tube, Baermann’s method, and agar plate culture. A questionnaire was administered to collect epidemiological information of interest. Among 124 children, 25.8% had one or more STH. Individual prevalence rates were as follows: Ascaris lumbricoides, 16.1%; Strongyloides stercoralis, 10.5%; hookworm, 1.6%; and Trichuris trichiura, (1.6%). The prevalence of common STH (A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, and hookworm) was higher among children aged 2–5 years than older children (31.6% versus 12.8%; P = 0.01). In terms of sanitation deficits, walking barefoot was significantly associated with STH infection (OR = 3.28; CI 95% = 1.11–12.07). Furthermore, STH-infected children more frequently had a mother who was concomitantly infected by STH than the non-STH–infected counterpart (36.4% versus 14.1%, P = 0.02). In conclusion, STH infection is highly prevalent in children from this Amazonian community despite routine deworming. Institutional health policies may include hygiene and sanitation improvements and screening/deworming of mothers to limit the dissemination of STH. Further studies are needed to address the social and epidemiological mechanics perpetuating these infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-640
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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