Intestinal and urinary tract infections are the most common infections in malnourishedchildren. In the present study, intestinal infections were surveyed in malnourished children.The present research was a cross sectional study in 12 months. During the study period, all the malnourished children admitted to health center in south of Tehran, were includedin the study. Malnutrition was found in children with clinical examinations. Malnourished children and control group were referred to the laboratory for stool screening of ova of worms and protozoa cysts or trophozoite and also stool culture. In a total of 84 cases, 4 children were infected with cysts of Giardia intestinalis, 2 children were infected withBlastosistis hominis, 5 children were infected with Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and 3 children were infected with Shigella spp. In the control group, one child was infected withG. intestinalis, 2 children were infected with B. hominis cysts and one child was infected with Enteropathogenic E. coli. Statistical analysis showed significantly higher rates of parasitic infection in malnourished children with G. intestinalis as compared to the control group (P<0.05) but there was significantly higher rates of B. hominis infection in the control group as compared to malnourished children (P<0.05). With regards to bacterial infections, statistical analysis showed significantly higher rate of bacterial infection of malnourished children with EPEC and Shigella spp. as compared to control group (p<0.05). The causes of malnutrition are multiple and complex and infections are common precipitating factor. Acute intestinal and respiratory infections are the most important causes of high morbidity and mortality in malnourished children and malnutrition is an important associated factor in these deaths. The present study showed that, parasite and bacterial intestinal infection in malnourished children were significantly higher than healthy children, thereby malnourished children should be tested periodically for detecting bacterial and parasitic intestinal infections and should be treated in first stages of illness.
Key words: Intestinal infection, malnutrition, children.
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