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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2015 Mar-Apr;57(2):139-44. doi: 10.1590/S0036-46652015000200007.

Prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers of Sari, Northern Iran.

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Toxoplasmosis Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
Department of Microbiology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.


Parasitic infection is highly prevalent throughout the developing countries of the world. Food handlers are a potential source of infection for many intestinal parasites and other enteropathogenic infections as well. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasite carriers among food handlers attending the public health center laboratory in Sari, Northern Iran for annual check-up. The study was performed from August 2011 through February 2012. Stool samples were collected from 1041 male and female food handlers of different jobs aged between 18 to 63 years and were examined following standard procedures. Sociodemographic, environmental and behavioral data analysis of the food handlers were recorded in a separate questionnaire. Intestinal parasites were found in 161 (15.5%) of the studied samples. Seven species of protozoan or helminth infections were detected. Most of the participants were infected with Giardia lamblia (53.9%) followed by Blastocystis hominis (18%), Entamoeba coli (15.5%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (5.5%), Cryptosporidium sp. (3.1%), Iodamoeba butschlii (3.1%) and Hymenolepis nana (1.9%) as the only helminth infection. The findings emphasized that food handlers with different pathogenic organisms may predispose consumers to significant health risks. Routine screening and treatment of food handlers is a proper tool in preventing food-borne infections.

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