ABSTRACT: Ascariasis is the most common soil-transmitted helminth infection in the world. The objective of this study was to analyze the clinical symptoms and selected hematological indices of ascariasis in hospitalized children from the northeastern region of Poland. Patients in the Pediatric Ward hospitalized in the Regional Hospital in Dabrowa Białostocka in the period of 2005-2007 were included in this retrospective study. The intestinal stage of ascariasis was diagnosed on the basis of positive coprological survey performed using the decantation technique. A total of 938 patients were included in the study, 1801 stool samples were evaluated, and A. lumbricoides-positive tests were obtained from 252 children. Ascaris-positive young children (< or = 3 yrs) accounted for 3.0% of all hospitalized children, Ascaris-positive preschool-aged children (4-7 yrs) accounted for 8.1% and school-aged children (8-18 yrs) for 15.8%. Seasonal patterns were observed in the prevalence of A. lumbricoides (maximum in August-December). There was no relationship between BMI z-score, hemoglobin levels and prevalence of infection with Ascaris lumbricoides. Significant predictors of intestinal stage ascariasis in a multivariate logistic regression model were: abdominal pain as a reason for hospital admission (OR-2.19; 95% CI 1.62-2.95; p < 0.001) and age from 4 to 7 years (OR-2.0; 95% CI 1.41-2.80; p < 0.001). The prevalence rate of ascariasis was not higher in the group of patients with atopic diseases (bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis) and co-existing ascariasis did not affect the eosinophil counts in the peripheral blood. Ascariasis is still a current pediatric clinical problem characterized by non-specific clinical manifestations, which should be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosis of children's diseases.
Wiadomości parazytologiczne 01/2011; 57(1):43-51.