Inttesttiinall Parasiittes i in Wadii All--Shattii Regiion

Background: Intestinal parasites cause significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The prevalence of intestinal parasites is not recorded so far in the population of Wadi Al-Shati province of Libya. Objectives: to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites among random population of different rural localities of Wadi Al-Shati province, south-west, Libya. Materials and Methods: a total of 1192 stool samples (during the period from 1st of August 2007 to end of April 2008) were collected from randomized population of seventeen rural localities of Wadi Al-Shati province. All stool specimens were examined by direct-smear microscopy, and formalin-ether concentration for the detection of intestinal parasites in normal saline and Lugol's iodine preparations. Results: Out of 1192 stool samples, 284 (23.82%) were found positive by the direct smear microscopy, and 294 (24.66%) by the formalin-ether sedimentation method. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) between direct smear and concentration method for the detection of intestinal parasites in stools. Prevalence of intestinal parasites between males and females was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Highest prevalence rates (5.70%) were found among 21 to 30 years old age group. Older age group (81 to 90 years) had a lower infected rate with intestinal parasites (0.08%). Blastocystis hominis was the commonest (20.21%) parasite found among the population. Cryptosporidium spp. (2.5%), Giardia lamblia (1.76%), Entamoeba histolytica/ E. dispar (1.17%) and Entamoeba coli (0.92%) were also detected in stool samples. Other intestinal parasites present included were Trichomonas hominis (0.80%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (0.80%). Conclusion: the helminthic infections are uncommon in Wadi Al-Shati province, probably due to climatic conditions (dry, hot and sandy soil) of this region. Prevalence of intestinal parasites would provide the baseline data to clinicians and health authorities for the treatment of parasitic infections in community of this region.