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Volume 51, Number 4, August 2018

Enterobius vermicularis infection and its risk factors among pre-school children in Taipei, Taiwan

Kuang-Yao Chen, Chuan-Min Yen, Kao-Pin Hwang, Lian-Chen Wang


Background and purpose: 

The prevalence of pinworm infection is extremely low in Taipei, Taiwan. This population study was designed to determine the current status and the associated risk factors of this infection among pre-school children. 



Perianal swab specimens were obtained from the parents or guardians using a two-consecutive-day adhesive cellophane perianal swab kit. Information of family background, personal hygiene, and household sanitary conditions were collected by asking the parents or guardians to complete a questionnaire. 



Of 44,163 children, 0.21% was found to infect with pinworm. The positive rate was highest in Datong (0.59%) and Nangang (0.58%) Districts and lowest in Neihu District (0.02%). There was no significant difference in the rates by gender (boys 0.24% and girls 0.19%) or school (kindergartens 0.25% and nurseries 0.17%). Significantly higher positive rates were found in children having parent with lower educational level and elder brother(s)/sister(s). Children taking bath by themselves and those sleeping in bed with matting had significantly higher positive rates. Five significant independent predictors of pinworm infection were determined by multivariate analysis: having elder brother(s), having elder sister(s), infrequent washing hands after using toilet facilities, bathing without the help of family members, and sleeping on bed with matting. 



The prevalence of pinworm infection in the pre-school children of Taipei is extremely low and decreasing. Good hand washing habit should be an important preventive measure. Transmission of this infection in pre-school children may occur in the family through their school-age siblings. 


Key words:

Enterobius vermicularis infection, Risk factors, Pre-school children, Taipei