Medicon Medical Sciences (ISSN: 2972-2721)

Research Article

Volume 6 Issue 6

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Intestinal Parasitic Infections: A 5-Year Retrospective Study in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Lucknow

Mohd Saqib Hasan*, Suruchi Shukla, Prerna Singh, Astha Yadav and Gopa Banerjee
Microbiology, King George’s Medical University, India
*Corresponding Author: Mohd Saqib Hasan, Microbiology, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Published: June 08, 2024

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Introduction: Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) constitute a substantial global health challenge, particularly in developing nations where environmental, socioeconomic, and health factors contribute to their widespread prevalence. This study focuses on protozoan parasites and soil-transmitted helminths, assessing their prevalence and exploring potential shifts in infection rates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material & Methods: A retrospective analysis of 3070 stool samples collected from patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Lucknow, spanning from January 2018 to December 2023, was conducted. The data were categorized by age groups, gender, and seasonal variations. Statistical analyses, including chi-square tests and t-tests, were employed to evaluate the significance of differences in infection rates across seasons and pre-and post-COVID-19 periods.

Results: The study revealed varying prevalence rates across age groups, with the 20-40 age group exhibiting the highest IPI prevalence at 9.6%. Gender disparities were observed, with higher rates in males. Notably, a decrease in IPI cases was observed post-2020, aligning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica, Ancylostoma duodenale, Hymenolopsis nana, Ascaris, and Strongyloides were identified in the stool samples, with a shift in prevalence post-2020.

Conclusion: This retrospective study provides insights into the complex relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections. The observed decline in IPI cases post-2020 suggests the unintended positive consequences of pandemic-induced lifestyle changes on parasitic infections and effect of antiparasitic drugs which were taken porphetically during pandemic. However, the study acknowledges limitations, and future research employing more sensitive diagnostic methods is recommended.

Keywords: protozoan parasites; retrospective study; prevalence; covid-19; intestinal parasitic infections