Intestinal parasitic infections in children under five in the Central Hospital of Nampula, Northern Mozambique

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Introduction: Intestinal parasites are known to cause infection in humans worldwide, with higher prevalence in low- and middle- incoming countries. Children are greatly affected leading to malnutrition and subsequently to physical and cognitive development impairment. Despite the scale and importance of this issue, there are few studies conducted in Mozambique concerning parasitic intestinal infections in hospitalized children. To our knowledge this is the first published report with data on this subject from Northern Mozambique. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2012 and 2013 in 831 children, attending the Central Hospital of Nampula in Northern Mozambique. One single stool sample was obtained from each child. Socio-demographic and clinical data were also obtained. Parasitological analysis of feces was performed through direct examination and Ritchie concentration technique and Giardia duodenalis antigen detection by rapid immunochromatographic test. Modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining was used for coccidia detection. Results: The global prevalence of pathogenic intestinal parasites was 31.6%. G. duodenalis (23.9%) was by far the most prevalent parasite followed by Strongyloides stercoralis (4.1%) and Cryptosporidium sp. (3.4%). Intestinal parasites were more frequent in older children (p = 0.005; aOR = 1.025). Conclusions: This work is one of the few published studies reporting intestinal parasites infection in hospitalized children. The percentage of children affected with G. duodenalis is higher than found in other studies in the African region. This highlights the need of particular attention being given to this intestinal protozoan and its resistance to water treatment, as well as to environmental health and personal hygiene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalJournal Of Infection In Developing Countries
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2020


  • Children
  • Hospital
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Northern Mozambique


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