Pygmy tribes inhabit tropical environment of Central Africa. After expulsion from their original habitat by the Bantu people, they settled in a local forest ecosystem where they live with very low sanitary standards. Their actual morbidity remains unknown.

The aim of the study was to analyze the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in BaAka Pygmies inhabiting the Congo Basin in the Central African Republic.

Material and methods:
The study was conducted in 2015, and involved a group of 950 Pygmies living inthe Sangha-Mbaere and Lobaye prefectures. Single stool samples were collected from study participants, fixed in 10% formalin, transported from Africa to Europe, and analyzed by light microscopy using 5 different diagnostic methods (direct smear, decantation with distilled water, Fülleborne’s flotation, Kato-Miura thick smear, DiaSyS/PARASYS system sedimentation) at the Military Institute of Medicine in Warsaw, Poland.

Microscopic examination revealed infections with 14 different species of intestinal nematodes, cestodes, trematodes and protozoa. According to the study findings, 90.5% of BaAka Pygmies were found to be infected with intestinal parasites, and 70.8% had mixed infections. Most of the pathogenic intestinal parasites were nematodes (85.0%), with Asrcaris lumbricoides (29.8%), hookworm (29.4%) and Trichuris trichiura (10.7%) being predominant.

Poor sanitation, limited the high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the community of Pygmies. The negative test results may prove the effectiveness of periodic deworming campaigns chich, implemented by non-governmental organizations, are voluntary with respect to the informed consent principle.

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