Detection of Enterobius vermicularis in greater Berlin, 2007–2017: seasonality and increased frequency of detection

  • Johannes Friesen
  • Clara Bergmann
  • Robert Neuber
  • Jörg Fuhrmann
  • Thilo Wenzel
  • Anita Durst
  • Michael Müller
  • Ralf IgnatiusEmail author
Original Article


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 vermicularis Cellulose tape test Epidemiology Seasonality Enterobiasis 



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.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MVZ Labor 28BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Infection ImmunologyCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany

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