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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 6239434, 6 pages
Research Article

Factors Associated with Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infections among Young Population in Northeast Brazil

1Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde da Universidade Federal de Alagoas, 57072-970 Maceió, AL, Brazil
2Faculdade de Nutrição da Universidade Federal de Alagoas, 57072-970 Maceió, AL, Brazil
3Universidade Federal de São João del Rei, Campus Centro Oeste, 35501-296 Divinópolis, MG, Brazil

Received 27 February 2016; Revised 11 June 2016; Accepted 30 June 2016

Academic Editor: Paul-Louis Woerther

Copyright © 2016 Juliana Vasconcelos Lyra da Silva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Intestinal parasitic infections constitute a major public health problem that is frequently associated with poverty, inadequate sanitation, and the nutritional status of the population. Objective. The aim of the present study is to investigate the possible association of parasitic infections, sanitary conditions, hygiene practices, and the nutritional and socioeconomic status of a poor youth population. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 367 children and adolescents inhabiting a substandard settlement in the urban area of Maceió (Alagoas State, Brazil). Data collection included socioeconomic status, anthropometric measurements, fecal sample examinations, and laboratory blood analysis. The identification of factors associated with gastrointestinal parasitic infections was undertaken through bi- and multivariate analyses. Results. Stool sample analysis obtained from 300 individuals revealed that 204 (68%) were infected with at least one parasite species and of these 130 (63.7%) were polyparasitized. No significant associations were identified between low height for age (stunted), parasitic infections, and polyparasitism. There was also no association between family income and parasitosis. However, low socioeconomic status proved to be a potential risk factor for parasitic infections. Conclusion. Actions must be taken to improve sanitation, housing, and environmental conditions in order to eliminate the risk factors for parasitic infections, and thereby guarantee a better quality of life for this population.