Helminths and intestinal protozoa infections causes considerable human morbidity in low and middle-income countries. Determining the prevalence of intestinal parasites is necessary to define control strategies. In March and April 2019, we conducted a cross-sectional survey involving 350 schoolchildren living in urban area of the commune of Abobo, in Abidjan, in Côte d’Ivoire. Stool samples were obtained from the participants and were subjected to Kato-Katz technique and the formalin-ether concentration method for the detection of helminth eggs and intestinal protozoa cysts, respectively. Information on sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics concerning hygiene, sanitation and transmission of intestinal parasites were collected using a questionnaire administered to each selected pupil. Among schoolchildren, 71% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 66.1- 75.8%) were positive for one or more intestinal parasites. Schoolchildren were more infected with protozoan (69.7%, 95% CI: 64.6-74.5%) than helminths (6.9%, 95% CI: 4.4-10.0%). Prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni, Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm and Trichuris trichiura were 0.9, 1.4, 2.0 and 2.9%, respectively. Prevalence for pathogenic protozoan namely, Giardia intestinalis and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar were 10.3 and 7.4%, respectively. Polyparasitism was found in 32,3% of the schoolchildren examined. The presence of cockroaches (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.30-1.53) and pets (OR =1.31, 95% CI: 1.15-1.60) were risk factors for Entamoeba histolytica/dispar infection in schoolchildren. This study confirms that protozoan infections are occurring among schoolchildren in Abidjan. Although, the prevalences of intestinal helminth infections are low; control efforts must continue in hope of interrupting the transmission of these parasitic infections in urban settings in Côte d’Ivoire.
Key words: Intestinal protozoa, Schistosomiasis, Soil-transmitted helminths, Schoolchildren, Côte d’Ivoire.
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