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  • Author: Choosak Nithikathkul x
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Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Choosak Nithikathkul, Thitima Wongsaroj, Louis Royal and Pipat Reungsang

Abstract

Background: Opisthorchiasis caused by Opisthorchis viverrini remains a major public health problem in many parts of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The epicenter of this disease is located in northeast Thailand, where high a prevalence of opisthorchiasis coexists with a high incidence of cholangiocarcinoma (CHCA), a major primary carcinoma of the liver with a very poor prognosis.

Objective: Determine the surveillance characteristics of O. viverrini infections in northeast Thailand.

Methods: Four thousand one hundred eighteen stool samples from 19 provinces were used in this study. All age groups were included, from below four years to more than 60 years. The geographic information system (GIS) was deployed to overlay the prevalence of disease on urban and agricultural areas as well as manmade land uses.

Results: Results showed a rate of Opisthorchiasis of 20.39% (840/4,118). Farmland and forests (loam soil) were highly associated with infection.

Conclusion: The rate of Opisthorchiasis is high in farmland and forests and lower in residential areas. Mass treatment targeted at high-risk areas may be a cost-effective control strategy and warrants further study.

Open access

Thitima Wongsaroj, Choosak Nithikathkul, Wichit Rojkitikul, Worayut Nakai, Louis Royal and Pongroma Rammasut

Abstract

Background: Helminth infections continue to pose serious health problems in Thailand. The infections of greatest concern are opisthorchiasis and hookworm.

Objectives: We evaluated the prevalence of these infections. The Thai Ministry of Health established a national health plan in 1995 to coordinate health plans for the provincial public health sectors.

Methods: A national survey based on probability sampling, interviews, and stool examinations was conducted in 2009 to gather prevalence information of the helminth infections.

Results: We found an overall prevalence of helminthiasis among 15,555 Thai people of 18.1%. The highest prevalence was found in the northeastern regions of Thailand. By comparison with previous surveys conducted over the past 5 decades, the prevalence rates have decreased. However, pockets of high infection remain, particularly in the north and northeast of Thailand.

Conclusions: Targeted intervention by means of educational programs and public health intervention, and continuing surveillance are indicated.