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Prevalence and risk factors of intestinal protozoan and helminth infections among pulmonary tuberculosis patients without HIV infection in a rural county in P. R. China

Li, Xin-Xu, Chen, Jia-Xu, Wang, Li-Xia, Tian, Li-Guang, Zhang, Yu-Ping, Dong, Shuang-Pin, Hu, Xue-Guang, Liu, Jian, Wang, Feng-Feng, Wang, Yue, Yin, Xiao-Mei, He, Li-Jun, Yan, Qiu-Ye, Zhang, Hong-Wei, Xu, Bian-Li, Zhou, Xiao-Nong
Acta tropica 2015 v.149 pp. 19-26
Ascaris lumbricoides, Blastocystis hominis, Clonorchis sinensis, Entamoeba, HIV infections, Human immunodeficiency virus, Trichomonas, Trichuris trichiura, agricultural land, anemia, blood, body mass index, chickens, cross-sectional studies, ducks, feces, health education, helminthiasis, hookworms, humans, hygiene, malnutrition, mixed infection, patients, protozoal infections, questionnaires, regression analysis, risk factors, swine, tuberculosis, China
Although co-infection of tuberculosis (TB) and intestinal parasites, including protozoa and helminths, in humans has been widely studied globally, very little of this phenomenon is known in China. Therefore, a cross-sectional study was conducted in a rural county of China to investigate such co-infections. Patients with pulmonary TB (PTB) undergoing anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis (anti-MTB) treatment were surveyed by questionnaires, and their feces and blood specimens were collected for detection of intestinal protozoa and helminths, routine blood examination and HIV detection. The χ² test and multivariate logistic regression model were used to identify risk factors. A total of 369 patients with PTB were included and all of them were HIV negative. Overall, only 7.3% of participants were infected with intestinal protozoa, among which prevalence of Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba spp. and Trichomonas hominis were 6.0%, 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively; 7.0% were infected with intestinal helminths, among which prevalence of hookworm, Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides and Clonorchis sinensis were 4.3%, 1.9%, 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively; and 0.5% were simultaneously infected with intestinal protozoa and helminths. Among patients with PTB, body mass index (BMI)≤18 (OR=3.30, 95% CI=1.44–7.54) and raised poultry or livestock (e.g., chicken, duck, pig) (OR=3.96, 95% CI=1.32–11.89) were significantly associated with harboring intestinal protozoan infection, while BMI≤18 (OR=3.32, 95% CI=1.39–7.91), anemia (OR=3.40, 95% CI=1.44–8.02) and laboring barefoot in farmlands (OR=4.54, 95% CI=1.88–10.92) were significantly associated with having intestinal helminth infection. Additionally, there was no significant relationship between duration of anti-MTB treatment and infection rates of intestinal parasites including protozoa and helminths. Therefore, preventing malnutrition, avoiding unprotected contact with reservoirs of protozoa, and improving health education for good hygiene habits, particularly wearing shoes while outdoors, are beneficial in the prevention of intestinal protozoan and helminth infection among patients with PTB.