Epidemiology of Hookworm Infection in Itagua, Paraguay: a Cross Sectional Study

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A cross-sectional study in Itagua, Paraguay tested 192 people for the presence, intensity and species of hookworm infection. Fifty-nine percent of these individuals were found to be infected. Intensity of infection was determined on 92% of infected individuals by quantitative egg counts. The high intensity hookworm infections, which cause the greatest morbidity, were clustered between the ages of five and 14 years. No differences were seen between genders. The species of hookworm was determined for parasites reared from 72% of infected individuals. Both Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale were identified, although the former species predominated. We conclude that hookworm infection continues to be a public health problem in Paraguay, particularly among children and adolescents who suffer from high intensity infections. A. duodenale continues to persist in the Western Hemisphere and has not been completely displaced by N. americanus.