Prevalence and risk factors of Blastocystis infections among primary school students in Jiangjin District, Chongqing City
- NING Chao-Qun, KANG Ji-Ming, LI Yi-Ting, CHEN Hui-Hui, CHU Yan-Hong, YU Ying-Fang, WU Xiu-Ping, AI Lin, CHEN Jia-Xu, TIAN Li-Guang, LIAO Qi-Dong
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Objective To investigate the prevalence and risk factors of Blastocystis infections among primary school students in Jiangjin District, Chongqing City. Methods A cross?sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among students sampled from a primary school in Jiangjin District, Chongqing City on April, 2018, and their stool samples were collected for microscopic examinations, in vitro culture and PCR assays to analyze the prevalence of Blastocystis infections and subtype of the parasite. In addition, the risk factors of Blastocystis infections among primary school students were identified using univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results A total of 466 primary students were surveyed, and the subjects had a mean age of (9.81±1.66) years and included 236 males (50.64%) and 230 females (49.36%). The prevalence of Blastocystis infections was 15.24% (71/466) among the study students, and there was no significance difference in the prevalence between male and female students (16.52% vs. 13.91%; [χ2] = 0.616, P = 0.433). In addition, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of Blastocystis infections among grade 1 (6.35%, 4/63), grade 2 (5.17%, 3/58), grade 3 (21.74%, 15/69), grade 4 (25.30%, 21/83), grade 5 (10.19%, 11/108) and grade 6 students (20.00%, 17/85) ([χ2] = 15.410，P = 0.009). There were four Blastocystis subtypes characterized (ST1, ST3, ST6 and ST7), in which ST6 was the most common subtype (45.07%, 32/71), followed by ST3 (25.35%, 18/71). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that minority ethnicity [odds ratio (OR) = 4.259, 95% confidential interval (CI）: (1.161, 15.621)] and low maternal education level (primary school and below) [OR = 9.038, 95% CI: (1.125, 72.642)] were identified as risk factors of Blastocystis infection among primary school students in Jiangjin District, Chongqing City. Conclusions There is a high prevalence of Blastocystis infections detected among primary school students in Jiangjin District, Chongqing City, and ST6 and ST3 are predominant subtypes. Minority ethnicity and low maternal education level (primary school and below) are risk factors for Blastocystis infections in primary school students.