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Risk factors for infection with Giardia duodenalis in pre-school children in the city of Salvador, Brazil

Prado, M. S.; Strina, A.; Barreto, M. L.; Oliveira-Assis, A. M.; Paz, L. M.; Cairncross, S.
Epidemiology and Infection, 2003; 131(2):899-906
A cross-sectional study of 694 children aged 2 to 45 months selected from 30 clusters throughout the city of Salvador, Bahia (pop. 2.3 million) was carried out as part of a longitudinal study of diarrhoea in order to identify risk factors for infection with Giardia duodenalis. Variables studied included three social and demographic factors (such as mother's education and marital status), five relating to the peri-domestic environment (rubbish disposal, open sewers, paving of the street), seven relating to the home itself (house construction, susceptibility to flooding, water supply and sanitation) as well as a score for hygiene behaviour based on structured observation. After multivariate analysis using a hierarchical model, only four significant risk factors were found: (a) number of children in the household under five years (b) rubbish not collected from the house (c) presence of visible sewage nearby, and (d) absence of a toilet. All four were significant at the 1% level.