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Effect of intestinal helminth infection on retinol and β-carotene status among rural Nepalese

Nutrition Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0271-5317(99)00134-7
  • Helminths
  • Vitamin A
  • Retinol
  • β-Carotene
  • Nepal


Abstract Intestinal helminth infection and its effect on vitamin A, retinol and β-carotene, was studied in 224 [145 children (aged less than 15 years) of Okharpauwa Village Development Committee (VDC) (Nuwakot district) and 79 inhabitants (mainly adults) of Boya VDC (Bhojpur district)] subjects living at an altitude of 2000 m. Direct smear technique in duplicate was applied to detect helminth eggs. Most common helminth detected was Ascaris lumbricoides followed by Trichuris trichiura in Okharpauwa VDC and by hookworm in Boya VDC, respectively. Mixed helminth infections were relatively low (7.3% in Okharpauwa VDC and 11.1% in Boya VDC). The retinol and β-carotene were estimated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The helminth eggs positive children of both sexes in Okharpauwa VDC had significantly lower serum retinol concentration compared with their helminth eggs negative counterparts ( P <0.05). The retinol concentration in helminth eggs positive children significantly increased after one month of anti-helminthic (albendazole) treatment ( P <0.05). No significant difference in serum retinol concentration was observed among helminth eggs positive and negative inhabitants of Boya VDC ( P >0.05) but in β-carotene level ( P <0.05). Results suggest that deworming contribute significantly in the prevention of vitamin A deficiency associated morbidity and mortality among children in these intestinal helminth prevalent rural communities in Nepal.

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