Background: Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections in
humans, particularly in resource-poor communities. Gastrointestinal parasites, specially protozoa,
can lead to diarrhea, malabsorption, and anemia. The majority of parasitic diarrhea is caused by Entamoeba
histolytica, Giardia duodenalis, and Cryptosporidium spp.
The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of intestinal parasites among diarrheic patients
referred to the Shahid Rajaee Polyclinic, Ahvaz, southwestern Iran.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites
among 250 diarrheic patients using direct smear, formalin-ether concentration, Ziehl-Neelsen and
Results: The results indicated that 34.4% (86/250) of the patients were infected with pathogenic
parasites. Giardia duodenalis with an occurrence of 18.8% (47/250) and Cryptosporidium spp.
with a frequency of 2.8% (7/250) had the highest and lowest infection rates, respectively. Blastocystis
hominis with a frequency of 15.2% (38/250) showed the highest prevalence rate after G. duodenalis.
Entamoeba histolytica/dispar was observed in 3 (1.2%) of diarrheic patients. The age
group 1−10 years old was the most frequently infected group (27.9%). We could not find a significant
association between the source of drinking water and intestinal parasitic infections (p= 0.912).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that G. duodenalis was the predominant parasite found
among the patients. The results revealed that intestinal parasites were one of the main health
problems in the region.