Diagnostics of intestinal parasites in light microscopy among the population of children in eastern Afghanistan
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Department of Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine, Military Institute of Medicine, Gdynia, Poland
Department of Epidemiology and Methodology of Clinical Research, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Tropical Parasitology, Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Medical University, Gdańsk, Poland
Corresponding author
Krzysztof Korzeniewski   

Department of Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine, Military Institute of Medicine, Gdynia, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2016;23(4):666-670
The Afghans, living in poor socioeconomic conditions, are estimated to be a community with a high rate of intestinal parasitic infections. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and species of intestinal parasites among children’s population in eastern Afghanistan and to present the methods of optimizing the techniques for identification of pathogens in light microscopy. The research was carried out as a part of humanitarian project Capacity building of health care system in Ghazni Province.

Material and Methods:
The study involved 500 children aged 7–18 attending the Share Kona and the Khuija Ali High Schools in Ghazni, eastern Afghanistan in the period November 2013-April 2014. Three stool samples were collected from each patient at 2-day intervals, the samples were fixed in 10% formalin, transported to the Military Institute of Medicine in Poland, where they were pooled and examined using five different diagnostic methods in light microscopy (direct smear in Lugol’s solution, Fülleborne’s flotation, decantation in distilled water, Kato-Miura thick smear, and DiaSys/PARASYS sedimentation system).

Pathogenic intestinal parasites were detected in 217 patients (43.4%), with the most common Ascaris lumbricoides (35.3%), Giardia intestinalis (31.1%), and Hymenolepis nana (15.7%). The use of direct smear method allowed for the detection of intestinal parasites in 161 individuals. The application of four following testing methods has improved the detection rates of infected patients by 11.2%.

The variety of detected intestinal pathogens in examined children’s population has required the use of combination of multiple diagnostic methods in light microscopy, and finally improved the detection rates of intestinal parasites and helped eliminate infections with nematodes, cestodes, trematodes, and protozoa using appropriate treatment in the study population.

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