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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


FONTBONNE, Annick et al. Risk factors for multiple intestinal parasites in an indigenous community of the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.2, pp.367-373. ISSN 1678-4464.

An investigation into the ethno-epidemiological profile of the Pankararu indigenous group in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil, identified multiple intestinal parasites in nearly all members of the community. To detect possible environmental risk factors, we used the data base from a previous survey to test relations between daily living conditions (housing, sanitation, water supply and treatment, and garbage disposal) and the number of different parasite species found in the same household. The sample consisted of 84 families from the original sample of 112. Selection was based on the number of stool tests performed in the family. The mean number of parasite species was 5.0 per family, for a mean family size of 6.1 members. This number was greater for wattle-and-daub houses (mean 6.0 parasite species vs. 4.9 for brick houses; p < 0.03) and when water used in the household was not treated (mean 5.1 parasite species, vs. 4.5 for treated water; p < 0.05). Other household characteristics and hygienic habits did not significantly influence this number. We concluded that multiple intestinal parasitism in the Pernambuco Pankararu community is frequent, to the point of being the rule, and that it relates essentially to water source and treatment.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Intestinal Parasitism; Parasites; Pankararu; South American Indians.

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