The pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis) causes mostly mild infections characterised by nocturnal anal pruritus, mainly in children. Still, the infection is stigmatising and sleep disturbances may lead to lack of concentration. For Germany, no epidemiological data are available. Laboratory data of all patients for whom detection of E. vermicularis by cellulose tape test had been requested between 2007 and November 2017 were analysed retrospectively. E. vermicularis was detected in 971/5578 (17.4%) samples collected from 3991 patients. The detection rate increased significantly within the period of investigation. It was higher in male than in female patients (20.0 vs. 15.4%). Children 4 to 10 years old and, if also examined, their relatives were most frequently affected. Control investigations at an interval of at least 1 month, which could indicate insufficient therapy or re-infection, were performed in 90/714 patients (12.6%). While parasite detection in children < 6 years was evenly distributed throughout the year, in older patients, it peaked between October and December. In conclusion, in the area of investigation, the frequency of E. vermicularis is higher in males than in females and is subject to a hitherto undescribed seasonality. The causes of the increased frequency of parasite detection warrant further investigations.
Enterobius vermicularisCellulose tape test Epidemiology Seasonality Enterobiasis
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We thank all assistants of the microbiology laboratory for analysing the samples and compiling the patients’ records as well as Hermann Feldmeier for helpful discussions and critical review of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Since the study was a retrospective analysis of laboratory data collected within 10 years and no additional investigations were performed with submitted specimens, no ethical approval was applied for.
Herrstrom P, Fristrom A, Karlsson A, Hogstedt B (1997) Enterobius vermicularis and finger sucking in young Swedish children. Scand J Prim Health Care 15(3):146–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Remm M (2006) Distribution of enterobiasis among nursery school children in SE Estonia and of other helminthiases in Estonia. Parasitol Res 99(6):729–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li HM, Zhou CH, Li ZS, Deng ZH, Ruan CW, Zhang QM et al (2015) Risk factors for Enterobius vermicularis infection in children in Gaozhou, Guangdong, China. Infect Dis Poverty 4:28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang S, Yao Z, Hou Y, Wang D, Zhang H, Ma J et al (2016) Prevalence of Enterobius vermicularis among preschool children in 2003 and 2013 in Xinxiang city, Henan province, Central China. Parasite 23:30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garcia LS, Arrowood M, Kokoskin E, Paltridge GP, Pillai DR, Procop GW, et al (2018) Laboratory diagnosis of parasites from the gastrointestinal tract. Clin Microbiol Rev Jan;31(1). pii: e00025-17Google Scholar
Fleming CA, Kearney DE, Moriarty P, Redmond HP, Andrews EJ (2015) An evaluation of the relationship between Enterobius vermicularis infestation and acute appendicitis in a paediatric population--a retrospective cohort study. Int J Surgery 18:154–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lacroix M, Sorensen B (2000) Occurrence of Enterobius vermicularis in children hospitalized at a central hospital. Ugeskr Laeger 162(9):1236–1238Google Scholar
Hofstraat K, van Brakel WH (2016) Social stigma towards neglected tropical diseases: a systematic review. Int Health 8(Suppl 1):i53–i70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomaso H, Dierich MP, Allerberger F (2001) Helminthic infestations in the Tyrol, Austria. Clin Microbiol Infect 7(11):639–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kappus KK, Juranek DD, Roberts JM (1991) Results of testing for intestinal parasites by state diagnostic laboratories, United States, 1987. MMWR CDC Surveill Summ 40(4):25–45Google Scholar
Gauert B (1998) Comparative study of the incidence and dissemination of intestinal parasites in child day care centers of the district capital Schwerin. Gesundheitswesen 60(5):301–306Google Scholar
Burkhart CN, Burkhart CG (2005) Assessment of frequency, transmission, and genitourinary complications of enterobiasis (pinworms). Int J Dermatol 44(10):837–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chai JY, Yang SK, Kim JW, Choi SL, Song GY, Jung BK et al (2015) High prevalence of Enterobius vermicularis infection among schoolchildren in three townships around Yangon, Myanmar. Korean J Parasitol 53(6):771–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rainova I, Harizanov R, Kaftandjiev I, Tsvetkova N, Mikov O, Kaneva E (2018) Human parasitic diseases in Bulgaria in between 2013-2014. Balkan Med J 35(1):61–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim TS, Cho SH, Huh S, Kong Y, Sohn WM, Hwang SS et al (2009) A nationwide survey on the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the Republic of Korea, 2004. Korean J Parasitol 47(1):37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaran AS (2017) Prevalence and seasonal variation of human intestinal parasites in patients attending hospital with abdominal symptoms in northern Jordan. East Mediterr Health J 22(10):756–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauer E, Jahnke C, Feldmeier H (2009) Seasonal fluctuations of head lice infestation in Germany. Parasitol Res 104(3):677–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim DH, Cho MK, Park MK, Kang SA, Kim BY, Park SK et al (2013) Environmental factors related to enterobiasis in a southeast region of Korea. Korean J Parasitol 51(1):139–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim DH, Son HM, Kim JY, Cho MK, Park MK, Kang SY et al (2010) Parents' knowledge about enterobiasis might be one of the most important risk factors for enterobiasis in children. Korean J Parasitol 48(2):121–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim DH, Yu HS (2014) Effect of a one-off educational session about enterobiasis on knowledge, preventative practices, and infection rates among schoolchildren in South Korea. PLoS One 9(11):e112149CrossRefGoogle Scholar