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Open Access Research article

Intestinal parasitosis and shigellosis among diarrheal patients in Gondar teaching hospital, northwest Ethiopia

Kahsay Huruy12*, Afework Kassu3, Andargachew Mulu3, Netsanet Worku4, Teshome Fetene5, Simon Gebretsadik1, Fantahun Biadglegne3, Yeshambel Belyhun3, Abebe Muche6, Aschalew Gelaw3, Belay Anagaw3, Sisay Yifru7, Yemataw Wondie8, Assegedech Bekele6, Moges Tiruneh3, Dieter Reissig9 and Feleke Moges3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Institute of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 30, 04103, Leipzig, Germany

3 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

4 School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

5 Adamitulu PPSC, Research and Development Department, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

6 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

7 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia

8 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities University of Gondar, Ethiopia

9 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:472  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-472

Published: 31 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Diarrheal diseases are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing world. Understanding the etiologic agents of diarrheal diseases and their association with socio-demographic characteristics of patients would help to design better preventive measures. Thus, this study was aimed to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria in diarrheic patients.

Methods

A cross-sectional study involving 384 consecutive diarrheal patients who visited Gondar teaching hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia from October 2006 to March 2007 was conducted. Stool specimens were collected and examined for intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria following standard parasitological and microbiological procedures.

Results

Intestinal parasites were diagnosed in 36.5% of the patients. The most frequently encountered protozoan parasite was Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (7.3%) followed by Giardia lamblia (5.0%), Cryptosporidium parvum (1.8%) and Isospora belli (1.3%). The dominant helminthic parasite identified was Ascaris lumbricoides (5.5%) followed by Strongyloides stercoralis and Schistosoma mansoni (3.1% each), hookworm infection (1.8%), and Hymenolepis species (1.3%). Multiple infections of intestinal parasites were also observed in 6.3% of the patients. Among the enteropathogenic bacteria Shigella and Salmonella species were isolated from 15.6% and 1.6%, respectively, of the patients. Escherichia coli O57:H7 was not found in any of the stool samples tested. Eighty eight percent and 83.3% of the Shigella and Salmonella isolates were resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics, respectively.

Intestinal parasitosis was higher in patients who live in rural area, in patients who were washing their hands after visiting toilet either irregularly with soap and without soap or not at all, in patients who used well and spring water for household consumption, and in patients who had nausea (P < 0.05). Statistically significant associations were also observed between Shigella infections and patients who were using well and spring water for household consumption, and patients who had dysentery and mucoid stool (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

The high prevalence of intestinal parasites and Shigella species in diarrheic patients calls for institution of appropriate public health intervention measures to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases. The rational use of antibiotics should also be practiced.

Keywords:
Intestinal parasitosis; Shigellosis; Gondar