Send to

Choose Destination
Parasite. 2002 Jun;9(2):167-74.

Intestinal parasitoses among Wayampi Indians from French Guiana.

Author information

Laboratoire hospitalo-universitaire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Equipe JE 2188, UFR de Médecine, Université Antilles-Guyane et Centre Hospitalier de Cayenne, BP 6006, F-97306 Cayenne, French Guiana.


Intestinal parasitism and its epidemiological characteristics were studied in an isolated Amerindian population from Upper Oyapock (French Guiana) that has retained its traditional social and cultural specificities. This population consisted of 138 Wayampi Indians, 68 adults and 70 children (below the age of 15 years), with a sex ratio (M/F) of 0.86, spread over the four villages of the community of Trois Sauts, corresponding to more than two thirds of the population recorded as inhabiting the sector in the last census (375 inhabitants). Fecal examination combined the direct examination of fresh feces with the quantitative techniques of Kato-Katz method, Baermann and MIF staining. Overall, 92% of the subjects were found to have intestinal parasites, 85% if only direct examination of fresh stools was taken into account. Fourteen species of human parasite were identified: seven protozoa and seven helminths. We observed in particular 1) a high frequency of hookworm infection due to Necator americanus. Over 50% of subjects were affected, with a range of 25% to 75% according to the village, but with only moderate parasite loads; 2) a high level of parasitism by E. histolytica/E. dispar (17%), Stongyloides stercoralis (16%) and Hymenolepis nana (18%); 3) a lower level of parasitism by Ascaris lumbricoides and very low levels (almost absent) of Trichiuris trichiura; 4) the absence of Schistosoma and fluke eggs. With the exception of H. nana, which was more frequent in children than in adults, there was no significant difference in the level of parasitism according to sex and age. Although the Wayampi of French Guiana are French citizens and consequently have quite high incomes and ready access to clinics and medicines, intestinal parasites are far from under control in this population. A lack of fecal hygiene and the habit of walking barefoot are widespread in the unchanging Amazonian environment and contribute to this phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for EDP Sciences
Loading ...
Support Center