Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in the Greek population: local people and refugees

Authors M.G. Papazahariadou, E.G. Papadopoulos S.E. Frydas, Ch. Mavrovouniotis,T.C. Constantinidis, K. Antoniadou-Sotiriadou,, A.E. Siochu ..


A total of 455 faecal samples from the Greek population
and refugees was examined and 18.02% were found to be
infected with one or more species of parasites. The
prevalence of infection with intestinal parasites of the Greek
(264) population was 11.36% and that of foreigners (191)
originating from Europe, Africa and Asia was 27.23%. Found
were a) protozoan parasites: Blastocystis hominis, Cryptosporidium
parvum, Entamoeba coli and Giardia lamblia (found
in both groups examined) and b) metazoan parasites: Enterobius
vermicularis, Taenia spp. and Strongyloides stercoralis
(in both groups) and Ancylostoma duodenale, Ascaris lumbricoides,
Trichuris trichiura and Schistosoma mansoni (only
in foreigners). Among the parasites found in foreigners only
the helminth species A. duodenale and S. mansoni are considered
as imported parasites from tropical and subtropical
regions to European countries. The use of the multiple
logistic regression showed that the odds ratio comparing
Greeks to refugees, adjusted for age and gender, was 3.8
for Africans, 3.0 for Europeans and 2.6 for Asians. No
correlation was found between age, gender or symptoms
(diarrhea or abdominal pain) with the presence of parasites.
The overall prevalence of infection with parasites was high
in both the Greek population and refugees and therefore a screening for parasite infection is recommended for the
prevention of further spread of the infections.
Key words: parasites, immigrants, Greece
Original Articles