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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Sep-Oct;93(5):503-10.

The distribution of Ascaris lumbricoides in human hosts: a study of 1765 people in Bangladesh.

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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


The Ascaris lumbricoides expelled by 1765 people in a poor urban community in Bangladesh were recovered and counted after the subjects had been treated with pyrantel pamoate. The subjects were divided into 22 classes by age and sex (mean n = 80) to examine how prevalence, mean worm burdens and measures of aggregation of worms varied with age and between the sexes, and to see how a measure of aggregation, k, calculated in 3 ways (by maximum likelihood, from moments, or from the percentage uninfected) compared with an empirical aggregation index (the percentage of subjects who expelled an arbitrary 80% of all worms) and with the proportion who were moderately to heavily infected (defined as > or = 15 worms). The prevalence of infection ranged from 64% to 95%, mean worm burdens ranged from 7 to 23 worms, and k ranged from 0.3 to 1.2. There were significant differences between adult males and females in the prevalence of infection, mean worm burdens and measures of aggregation, differences which are probably driven more by behaviour than immunity. The parameter k was better described in terms of the proportion who were moderately to heavily infected (linear; range 0.15-0.58) than by the empirical aggregation index (non-linear; range 0.30-0.49).

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