Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in northern Vietnam


Paul Verle, Belgian Technical Cooperation, Hoogstraat 147, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail:
N. V. De, N. Q. Thieu and H. T. Kim, National Institute for Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, BC-10-200-Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam. Tel.: +84 4 854 3034; Fax: +84 4 854 3015; E-mail:
P. Dorny, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Animal Health, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium. Tel.: +32 3 247 63 94; Fax: +32 3 247 62 68; E-mail: (corresponding author).
A. Kongs, Brusselse Straat 318A, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Tel.: ++3216 206162; E-mail:
K. Depraetere, Nganampa Health Council, PO Box 2232, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia. E-mail:


We surveyed the prevalence of parasitic infections in the mountainous province of Hoa Binh, north-west Vietnam, involving 526 households of six ethnic groups: Muong, Kinh, Dao, Thai, Tay and Hmong. Eggs or cysts of at least one parasite species were detected in 88% of stool samples (n = 2522). Prevalences of nematodes were high among all ethnic groups: hookworm (52%), Trichuris trichiura (50%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (45%). Ascaris infection appeared to be lower in households owning a latrine, was highest among children and decreased with age. Prevalence of hookworm rose during childhood, remained high until old age, was highest among adult women, but was not linked to anaemia. Eggs of Chlonorchis spp. were found in 126 (5%) individuals (of the Muong, Kinh or Thai groups only). Chlonorchiasis increased with age and was highest among adult men. Taenia eggs were found in three individuals (0.1%). Giardia lamblia was found in all districts and among all groups and the prevalence of infection was estimated at 3%.