Reexamination of Parasitic Infections in Karen Children on the Western Border of Thailand: Two-year Follow-up

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Wanchai Maneeboonyang
Sutthiporn Prommongkol
Nuttapong Wongjindanon
Lertyot Treerattanapiboon
Sataporn Pasuralertsakul
Wutthichai Chaimungkun
Supalarp Puangsa-art



In 2005, helminth and protozoan infections were found to infect over half the Karen children in Ratchaburi Province, on the western border of Thailand with Myanmar. The current study aimed to reexamine infections in the same area 2 years later. Intestinal-helminth infection remained unchanged, and whipworm still predominated. Whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm, were the top 3 helminths found in this area. On the other hand, intestinal protozoan infections increased from 26.4 to 43.0%, with more cases infected by both non-pathogenic (Entamoeba coli and Endolimax nana) and pathogenic (Giardia lamblia and E. histolytica) organisms. Despite drug treatment and rigorous preventive control, infection rates remained high. The number of students whose infections persisted for 2 years roughly equaled the number of new infections in the present study. The numbers of those who remained uninfected throughout the 2 periods were disappointingly lower. This evidence shows that urgent improvements to the control program are needed, to tackle these neglected infectious tropical diseases more effectively.

Keywords: NTD; intestinal helminths; intestinal protozoa; Karen childre; prevalence

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