GARAYCOCHEA O.1, ACOSTA-GARCÍA G.1, VIGO-AMES N.1, HERINGMAN K.1, DYER A.1, JERÍ S.1 y SIANCAS G.2
ABSTRACT INTESTINAL PARASITISM, ANEMIA AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS IN CHILDREN OFYANTALÓ DISTRICT, SAN MARTIN, PERU
Objectives: To establish the relationship between intestinal parasitic infections and the nutritional condition of children from 5 to 17 years from a town in the Peruvian jungle. Materials and Methods: We examined 120 children from the district of Yantalo, located in the department of San Martin, in the northeastern area of the Peruvian jungle. We analyzed their stool samples using the spontaneous sedimentation-in-tube technique, Kato-Katz and Harada-Mori methods. The nutritional status was determined by obtaining their height-for-age index and the presence of anemia was detected with their hemoglobin results. Results: We found 64 (53,3%) of the children had positive stool samples, 59,38% of which came from a helminth infection, while 43,75% came from a protozoarian infection: Trichuris trichura (37,5%), Ascaris lumbricoides (12,5%), Ancylostomidae (7,8%), Entamoeba histolytica (12,5%), Giardia lamblia (10,9%), Hymenolepis nana (7,8%) and Blastocystis hominis (7,8%). All of the infections, according to the Kato-Katz method, were due to a mild worm load. The measurement of hemoglobin levels showed that 28,3% of the students presented some degree of anemia, mild (15,8%) and moderate (12,5%). Of the 120 children, 44 (36,7%) were positive for some degree of chronic malnutrition, of which 68,18% also presented an intestinal parasitic infection. We suggest that the government and other involved institutions improve existing strategies and implement new ones regarding environmental sanitation and education. This is crucial to reduce the rates of anemia, chronic malnutrition and intestinal parasitic infections in populations with similar epidemiologic characteristics.
Key words: Parasitic infections, Nutritional Status, Anemia, Sanitation, Perú.