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Epidemiology and Health 2019;e2019009.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2019009    [Accepted] Published online March 28, 2019.
Geospatial analysis and epidemiological aspects of Blastocystis hominis human infection in Mazandaran province, northern Iran
Shabnam Asfaram1,2  , Ahmad Daryani1,3  , Shahabeddin Sarvi1,3  , Abdol Sattar Pagheh1,2  , Seyed Abdollah Hosseini1,2  , Reza Saberi1,2  , Seyede Mahboobeh Hoseiny4  , Masoud Soosaraei1,2  , Mehdi Sharif1,3 
1Toxoplasmosis Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
2Department of medical Parasitology, Student Research Committee, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
3Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Science, Sari, Iran
4GIS Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Science, Sari, Iran
Correspondence  Mehdi Sharif ,Tel: +98 11 33543249., Email: msharifmahdi@yahoo.com
Received: February 8, 2019  Accepted after revision: March 28, 2019
Blastocystis hominis (B. hominis) is a very common large intestinal protozoan with the global prevalence in humans and non-human hosts. In this regard, there is not any precise statistics for the geographical distribution of Blastocystis to identify high-risk communities. Therefore, the current research is aimed to recognize the spatial pattern and demographic factors associated with B. hominis occurrence in northern Iran. MATERIALS AND
The current study was performed among 4,788 individuals referred to health centers in the Mazandaran province in the north of Iran. Stool samples were obtained from people who referred to the health center. Sociodemographic data were prepared using a questionnaire. Samples were examined by direct wet mount, formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique, and trichrome staining methods. Moran local indicators of spatial association and geographically weighted regression model (GWR) were utilized to analyze the results.
Generally, the infection rate of Blastocystis parasite was 5.2% (247/4788), which is considerably more in the age group of 10-14 (10.6%) years (p= 0.005). Our data indicated an important association between the occurrence of B. hominis and age, residence, job, contact with domestic animals, anti-parasitic drug consumption, and height from the sea (P < 0.0001).
The outcomes of current research showed for the first time the infection rate, risk, and prediction map of the occurrence of B. hominis in the north of Iran. It is expected that the map produced would help policymakers in planning and decision making to perform preventive measures in high-risk areas in the management of this parasite.
Keywords: Blastocystis hominis; Geographical information system; Epidemiology; Iran


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