Springer Nature

Enterobius vermicularis infection: prevalence and risk factors among preschool children in kindergarten in the capital area, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Posted on 2019-06-18 - 05:00
Abstract Background Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) is one of the most common human parasitic helminths, and children are the most susceptible group. Some behavioral and environmental factors may facilitate pinworm infection. In the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the status of pinworm infections among children remains unknown. Methods In Majuro City, there are 14 kindergartens with a total of 635 preschool children (PSC) whose age range of 5~6 years. The present investigation attempted to determine the pinworm prevalence and associated risk factors as well as investigate whether eggs contaminated the clothes of PSC or the ground and tables in classrooms of 14 kindergartens. Informed consent form and a self-administered questionnaire were given to parents prior to pinworm screening. Perianal specimens were collected by an adhesive scotch tape method, and clothing of belly and hip sites and the ground and tables of the classrooms were inspected using a cellophane tape method to detect any eggs contamination. Results In total, 392 PSC (5.28 ± 0.56 yrs. old) participated in this project. The overall prevalence of pinworm infection was 22.4% (88/392). Boys (24.5%) had higher prevalence than girls (20.31%) (p = 0.32). PSC aged > 5 years (32.77%) showed a significantly higher prevalence than those aged ≤5 years (17.95%) (p = 0.01). A univariate analysis indicated that PSC who lived in urban areas (22.95%) had a higher prevalence than those who lived in rural areas (20.69%) (p = 0.69). The employment status of the parents showed no association with the pinworm infection rate (p > 0.05). A logistic regression analysis indicated that “having an older sister” produced a higher risk of acquiring pinworm infection for PSC compared to those who did not have an older sister (OR = 2.02; 95%CI = 1.05~3.88; p = 0.04). No significant association between various other risk factors and pinworm infection was found (p > 0.05). Also, no eggs contamination was found on the clothes of the belly and hip sites or on the ground and tables in the 14 kindergartens. Conclusions Mass screening and treatment of infected PSC are important measures in pinworm control in the RMI.


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