Abstract

The gastrointestinal helminth infection status of 1574 children living in a slum area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was assessed by quantitative coprology. Almost two-thirds were infected with Trichuris trichiura, 49 · 6% with Ascaris lumbricoides, and 5 · 3% with hookworm. Infection prevalence rose rapidly to a stable asymptote at 7 years of age, and the age-intensity profile was convex with maximal values in the 5–10 year age classes. This pattern was the same for males and females, but differed markedly between different ethnic groups. The frequency distributions of A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura were highly overdispersed (k values were 0 · 21 and 0 · 27, respectively), and age-dependent over the 0–8 year age classes. This suggests that the force of infection with these nematodes is lower in infants than in older children.

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