The objective was to estimate the prevalence of Blastocystis hominis, to evaluate the effectiveness of different techniques for its diagnosis as well as to estimate the prevalence of other intestinal parasites in the community of Campo Verde, a district of Pitanga. The work was carried out from August to October 2004. Samples of feces from children and adults were collected and submitted to the techniques of direct wet mount, flotation in zinc sulphate solution, tube sedimentation, sedimentation in formalin-ether and staining by Kinyoun and iron hematoxylin methods. From 181 studied individuals, 128 (70.7%) showed protozoa and/or helminths in stool samples. The most prevalent species were Endolimax nana (33.7%); B. hominis (26.5%); Giardia lamblia (18.2%); Entamoeba coli (17.1%); Ascaris lumbricoides (16.6%); Iodamoeba bütschlii (9.4%); and ancylostomatidae (7.7%). B. hominis was only identified by the techniques of direct wet mount, sedimentation in formalin-ether and staining by iron hematoxylin, though the latter was less sensitive than the other methods. The high frequency of B. hominis demonstrated by this study indicates the need to include laboratory techniques that enable identification of the parasite on a routine basis.
Blastocystis hominis; Intestinal parasites; Prevalence; Diagnosis