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Volume 47, Number 5, October 2014

Microbiological and parasitological investigation among food handlers in hotels in the Dead Sea area, Jordan


Muna Abdel-Dayem, Renad Al Zou'bi, Rehan Bani Hani, Zuhair Sami Amr

Received: April 10, 2013    Revised: May 26, 2013    Accepted: June 11, 2013   


Background and purpose: 

Intestinal parasitic and bacterial infections constitute a major health issue in developing countries. The present study investigates and assesses infection rates among food handlers with intestinal parasites and microbial agents in luxurious hotels in the Dead Sea area of Jordan.



A total of 901 stool samples were collected from food handlers (35 females and 866 males) employed in four main hotels in the Dead Sea area. Fecal samples were examined microscopically for intestinal parasites. Standard culture and biochemical techniques were used for the isolation and identification of Salmonella and Shigella spp. in stool samples. 



Five species of protozoan (Blastocystis hominis, Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba histolytica, and Endolimax nana), one helminth (Hymenolepis nana), and one cylindrical worm (Enterobius vermicularis) were recovered with an overall infection rate of 3.7%. G. intestinalis was the most prevalent parasitic infection with infection rate of 2.44%. All samples were negative for both Salmonella and Shigella.




Findings highlight the important role of food handlers in the transmission of intestinal parasites to high-class clients accommodated in luxury hotels, and stress the urgent need for regular health and parasitologic examination of food handlers. 


Key words:

Entamoeba histolytica, Food handlers, Giardia intestinalis, Intestinal parasites, Jordan