Parasitology Research

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 267–272

Prevalence of intestinal parasite infections on a national scale among primary schoolchildren in Laos


  • Han-Jong Rim
    • Korea Association of Health Promotion
  • Jong-Yil Chai
    • Department of Parasitology, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Institute of Endemic DiseasesSeoul National University Medical Research Centre
  • Duk-Young Min
    • Department of ParasitologyHanyang University College of Medicine
  • Seung-Yull Cho
    • Section of Molecular Parasitology, Department of Molecular Cell BiologySungkyunkwan University School of Medicine
  • Keeseon S. Eom
    • Department of Parasitology and Medical Research InstituteChungbuk National University College of Medicine
  • Sung-Jong Hong
    • Department of ParasitologyChung-Ang University College of Medicine
  • Woon-Mok Sohn
    • Department of Parasitology and Institute of Health SciencesGyeongsang National University College of Medicine
    • Department of ParasitologyYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Giovanni Deodato
    • Office of the WHO/WPR Representative in the Laos PDR
  • Hanne Standgaard
    • Office of the WHO/WPR Representative in the Laos PDR
  • Bounlay Phommasack
    • Department of Hygiene and Disease PreventionMinistry of Health
  • Cheong-Ha Yun
    • Korea Association of Health Promotion
  • Eui-Hyug Hoang
    • Korea Association of Health Promotion
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-003-0963-x

Cite this article as:
Rim, H., Chai, J., Min, D. et al. Parasitol Res (2003) 91: 267. doi:10.1007/s00436-003-0963-x


In order to investigate the epidemiological situation of intestinal parasite infections in Laos, parasitological surveys were carried out on a national scale including 17 provinces and the Vientiane Municipality. A total of 29,846 stool specimens were collected from primary schoolchildren from May 2000 to June 2002 and examined once with the cellophane thick smear technique. The cumulative egg positive rate for intestinal helminths was 61.9%. By species, the rate for Ascaris lumbricoides was 34.9%, hookworm 19.1%, Trichuris trichiura 25.8%, Opisthorchis viverrini 10.9%, Taenia spp. 0.6% and Hymenolepis spp. 0.2%. The northern mountainous regions such as Phongsaly, Huaphan or Saysomboune Province showed a higher prevalence (over 70%) of soil- transmitted helminths. The regions along the Mekong River such as Khammuane, Saravane or Savannakhet Province showed a higher prevalence (over 20%) of fish-borne parasites. On the other hand, Schistosoma mansoni eggs were detected in 1.7% of schoolchildren only in Champassak Province, a previously endemic area. The highest prevalence was noted in Phongsaly Province (96.0%) and the lowest in Bolikhamxay Province (27.5%). An additional small-scale survey by cellophane anal swab detected Enterobius vermicularis eggs in 35.7% of 451 schoolchildren aged 6–8 years in Khammuane, Vientiane, Champassak Province and the Vientiane Municipality. Meanwhile, the mean blood haemoglobin level of hookworm-infected children was not lower than that of children not infected with hookworm, suggesting that nutritional factors are more important than parasite infection per se. Nevertheless, the above results indicate that a nationwide parasite control project is necessary to reduce possible morbidity due to parasitic diseases in the country.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag is a part of Springer Science+Business Media 2003