, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 115-121
Date: 25 Sep 2008

Screening for Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among Myanmar Migrant Workers in Thai Food Industry: A High-Risk Transmission

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Abstract

The impact of intestinal parasitic infections on public health has been neglected. Millions of Myanmar natives have migrated to work in Thailand. We performed a study of intestinal parasitic infections in Myanmar-migrants working in the Thai food industry. A total of 338 Myanmar migrant workers in a food plant at Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand, were recruited for this study. 284 (84%) returned requested stool samples. Samples were examined for intestinal parasites by means of simple smear, formalin-ether concentration, Locke-Egg-Serum medium, and Harada-Mori culture methods. We found parasites in 177 (62.3%) migrants (29 of 46 males; 148 of 238 females). The majority (89.3%) were infected with parasites transmitted by fecal-oral route, including Blastocystis hominis (41.5%), Trichuris trichiura (22.2%), Giardia lamblia (14.1%), and Ascaris lumbricoides (1.8%). Mixed infections were common (40.7%). The highest prevalence (73.3%) was found among migrants from Kohsong city, Myanmar. This high parasite infection rate in Myanmar migrant workers is an obvious public health hazard.