Prevalence of intestinal parasites in preschool children from a kindergarten in the West Pomeranian voivodeship in Poland

Patrycja Kapczuk, Lidia Kołodziejczyk, Dariusz Chlubek


Introduction: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of intestinal parasites in preschool children in Złocieniec, a town in north-western Poland. Therefore, it was decided to assess the extent of intestinal parasite infection, the prevalence of individual parasite species, and the usefulness of clinical symptoms reported by parents/guardians of children for parasitological screening.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted in 88 children aged 3–6 years. Parasitological diagnosis was performed by standard coproscopic method. For intestinal parasites, direct smears of feces in saline (0.9% NaCl) and stained with Lugol’s fluid were performed. Pinworms were examined by the cellophane sticking method (according to Graham).
Results: The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection in children was 12.5%. In the study group of preschool children, 2 species of intestinal parasites were identified: Blastocystis hominis (3 cases) and Enterobius vermicularis (8 cases). The most frequently diagnosed species of intestinal parasites was human pinworm, with a prevalence of 9.09%, while the prevalence of B. hominis infection was 3.41%. There was no co-occurrence of these parasite species in any child. The highest incidence of intestinal parasite infestation was detected in 6-year-old children, whose infection rate was 45.45%, while no intestinal parasite species was detected in 4-year-old children. Among the preschool children infected with intestinal parasites, 81.82% lived in urban areas and 18.18% lived in the countryside, while all (100%) children infected with human pinworm came from urban areas. Clinical symptoms characteristic of E. vermicularis infection (1–9) were reported in 43 (48.86%) of the children examined, regardless of the test result. The occurrence of symptoms characteristic of enterobiasis (1–9) was reported in only 50% of the children infected with E. vermicularis, and only 1 child had 9 symptoms typical of the presence of E. vermicularis. There were no cases of reinfection with pinworms in 7 children (7.95%) with previously diagnosed pinworms.
Conclusions: The prevalence of intestinal parasites in preschool children in Złocieniec is lower than the prevalence in West Pomeranian voivodeship, but similar to that found in other regions of Poland. Therefore, the potential risk of infection among the inhabitants of Złocieniec is low. The prevalence of E. vermicularis in children in Złocieniec is similar to its prevalence in Poland and Europe. It was found that clinical signs reported by parents/guardians of children may not always serve as a guideline for parasitologic examination.


parasitosis; children; digestive tract; intestinal parasites; Poland

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