Prevalence and risk factors of Giardia lamblia among infants and children in Duhok province/Kurdistan Region, Iraq
The study was performed on 504 stool samples from infants and children with diarrhea who attended laboratories at Zakho General Hospital, Heevie Pediatric Hospital, Chamisku and Bersive 1 camps, and children who did not have diarrhea in various primary schools in Zakho between August 2021 and the end of July 2022. The study focused on 1 month of age to 15 years old. The collected stool specimens were examined macroscopically followed by microscopic examination using wet mount and concentration methods. The microscopic findings revealed an overall prevalence of Giardia lamblia at a rate of 6.15% (31/504), with slightly but non-significantly higher infection rate in males than in females (6.71% vs. 5.43%). The highest rate of infection was noted in the age group >3-6 years, while the lowest rate was in the age group >12-15 years, which were 11.76% and 1.45%, respectively. The infection rate was also twice as high among rural residents as compared to urban ones (10.34% and 3.32%), respectively. Infants and children who drink tap water had a high infection rate, whereas those drinking bottled water had a lower infection rate (8.05% and 1.92%), respectively. The infection rate was non-significantly higher in families with more than 6 members than in those with less than 6 members (7.06% and 5.22%) respectively. In terms of monthly infection distribution, the highest prevalence was reported in July 11.29%, and the lowest was recorded in February (2.27%). Finally, the statistical analysis revealed a significant relationship between infection and age group, residency, as well as the types of drinking water consumed, but non-significant relationship between infection and gender, number of family members and months of sample collection.
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