Journal of Community Health

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 433–440 | Cite as

The relationship of water sources and other determinants to prevalence of intestinal protozoal infections in a rural community of Saudi Arabia

  • Mohamed S. Omar
  • Ahmed A. R. Mahfouz
  • Mohamed Abdel Moneim


A study was carried out in a rural area of Asir region in Southwest of Saudi Arabia where information on the types of domestic water supply and sociodemography in relation to intestinal protozoal infections were obtained from 1417 inhabitants (81.4% of the total) of nine villages. Stool samples were collected from the study population and examined for intestinal parasites. Overall, the prevalence rates of infection with the common water-borne parasites,Giardia lamblia andEntamoeba histolytica were 18.9% and 9.2% respectively, which were high compared to other endemic areas of the Kingdom. The sociodemographic factors including age, sex, degree of education, intrafamilial clustering and crowding index were found to be non significant determinants of both protozoal infections. The source of domestic water was the sole factor significantly associated with the high prevalence rates of infection in the community. This relationship was confirmed by multiple logistic regression analysis. A significantly high risk of contracting the infection with both parasites was observed among individuals who drank jar water (OR=2.973, 95%CI:1.515–4.402 and OR=2.831, 95%CI:1.414–3.915, forG. lamblia andE. histolytica respectively) or well water (OR=2.153, 95%CI:1.211–3.913 and OR=2.117, 95%CI:1.341–3.715, forG. lamblia andE. histolytica respectively). Those who used desalinated water for drinking seems to have the lowest degree of exposure to the risk of infection (OR=0.689, 95%CI:0.501–0.849 and OR=0.793, 95% CI:0.518–0.912, forG. lamblia andE. histolytica respectively). The results indicate that the use of improved water supply, including protection of community wells and domestic storage tanks, together with mandatory inspection measures during transportation and distribution of commercial water should reduce the rate of infection with the two protozoal parasites in this rural community.


Rural Community Stool Sample Multiple Logistic Regression Analysis Protozoal Parasite High Prevalence Rate 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed S. Omar
    • 3
  • Ahmed A. R. Mahfouz
    • 1
  • Mohamed Abdel Moneim
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of MedicineKing Saud University, Abha BranchAbhaSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of MedicineKing Saud UniversityAbhaSaudi Arabia

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