Quantifying the risk of zoonotic geohelminth infections for rural household inhabitants in Central Poland

Jakub Gawor 1,  
Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; Laboratory of Parasitology, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2017;24(1):44–48
The objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of soil transmitted zoonotic helminth infections for families with young children, inhabitants of villages in the Mazowieckie Province of Central Poland. Epidemiological survey was conducted at 33 randomly selected households with 2–3 children present. Examination of soil samples from yards surrounding the houses for the presence of geohelminth eggs was conducted, the households were inspected, and family members interviewed using a designed questionnaire. Among 55 localities examined, i.e. 33 backyards, 10 vegetable gardens and 12 sandpits, contamination was found in 2 backyards (6.1%) and 1 sandpit (8.3%) at 3 households (9.1%). Of the total 550 examined soil samples, 4 (0.7%) were found to contain [i]Trichuris[/i] and [i]Toxocara[/i] eggs, with an average density of 1.5 and 2.0 eggs per sample. The study showed a low level of soil contamination, which was the result of inhabitants care about the sanitation of their domiciles. However, the results of the questionnaire survey demonstrated the need to warn rural residents about the risk factors for zoonotic helmints infections. In particular, parents should be advised how to minimize the threat of parasitic diseases for children in the rural environment. The presented study showed that promotional campaigns implemented in recent years on the prevention of parasitic zoonoses have had little effect to increase the awareness of the rural community. The present results confirmed that Toxocara is the most common zoonotic agent among geohelminths in the rural environment.