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Infez Med. 2013 Mar;21(1):34-9.

Intestinal parasitosis: data analysis 2006-2011 in a teaching hospital of Ancona, Italy.

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Clinica di Malattie Infettive, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy.


Intestinal parasites are a serious problem in developing countries, but should not be underestimated in industrialised countries either. Between January 2006 and December 2011, stool specimens and the scotch tests of 5323 Italian and non Italian patients (adults and children) attending the laboratory of our Infectious Diseases Clinic in a teaching Hospital at Ancona were analyzed specifically for intestinal parasites. The present study shows that, over a six-year period, of a total of 5323 patients 305 harboured at least one species of parasite (5.7%). Among the pathogenic protozoa Giardia lamblia was the most common, the overall prevalence of giardiasis being 1.8 % (99/5323). Helminths were found in 0.9% of the patients (48/5323). In particular, Hymenolepis nana, Strongyloides stercoralis and Trichuris trichiura were most commonly recovered in non-Italian children, suggesting that certain intestinal parasites are restricted to endemic areas in the tropics. Eighteen of the 305 infected patients had more than one parasite in their stools. Our study demonstrates that intestinal parasites must be considered even in industrialised areas and stool examination should be supported by epidemiological data and clinical features.

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