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The prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis among Filipino pregnant women determined by fecalysis

Martin Antonio B. Medina, MD; Rojannah T. Sahagun, MD, FPOGS and Alberto R. Mercado, MD, FPOGS
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital

Background: The Philippines is endemic to soil-transmitted helminthiasis, a neglected tropical disease which is inadequately diagnosed and treated especially in the pregnant and lactating population. It is important that the prevalence of STH is monitored routinely to assess the effectiveness of control programs and the provision of adequate treatment, hence decreasing its associated adverse outcomes.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of STH among pregnant patients consulting for antenatal care in a tertiary provincial hospital using microscopic stool analysis.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study performed on 270 patients attending antenatal care from a tertiary provincial hospital. Microscopic stool analysis using the Kato-Katz technique was the diagnostic tool used to identify presence of intestinal parasites. Data were analyzed using Stata 15. Chi Square and Mann U Whitney Tests were utilized to determine statistical significance. Variables under the adverse perinatal outcomes were subjected to odds ratio to determine correlation among those tested positive for STH.

Conclusion: The cumulative prevalence rate of STH is 20.7% and the most common organism identified is A. lumbricoides. Factors related to a high suspicion of STH are: older individuals; higher obstetric score; greater number of living children; increased maternal weight; anemic; underweight; lived in a family with higher number of household members; lived in a family with member treated with antihelminthics; lived in houses without water and toilet; lived in the areas of Maragondon, Mendez, Bailen, Cavite City, Noveleta and Bacoor. Moreover, preterm labor and small for gestational age fetus are the adverse perinatal outcomes identified suggestively related to STH.