Burden of foodborne trematodiases and taeniasis in selected areas in southern Philippines

Vicente Belizario, Jr, John Paul Caesar Delos Triños, Salcedo Eduardo, Jolene Kristine Gatmaitan, Arlene Bertuso, Myra Mistica, Carlo Lumangaya


Background: There are limited reports on foodborne trematodiases (FBT) and taeniasis prevalence and distribution in the Philippines.

Objective: This study aimed to describe their prevalence and distribution and determine the species causing these infections in selected areas in southern Philippines.

Methodology: The study was implemented in selected barangays in Caraga and Davao regions in southern Philippines. School-age children and adults with gastrointestinal manifestations within the last two weeks were examined using the modified Kato thick technique, while adults with cough for more than two weeks underwent sputum examination using NaOH concentration technique. The adult helminths from patients positive for FBT and/or taeniasis were processed, mounted, and stained for species identification.

Results: Variable FBT and taeniasis prevalence across geographic areas and population groups was seen with a highly focal distribution. Heterophyidiasis was the most common FBT with a 7.5% (168 out of 2,238) prevalence. Species not known to be endemic in the area were identified including Haplorchis taichuiOpisthorchis felineus, and Echinostoma ilocanum. Variable prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis was also seen.

Conclusion: The study revealed the hidden burden of FBT and taeniasis and identified species not known to be endemic in selected areas in southern Philippines. Addressing this hidden burden will require enhancing service delivery. This may be done by utilizing more accurate diagnosis, updating treatment guidelines, implementing evidence-based control interventions, and improving surveillance. Integrating control programs, for instance, integrating FBT and taeniasis control with STH and schistosomiasis control, and integrating paragonimiasis control with the national TB program, may also help in optimizing resources.


foodborne trematodes; taeniasis; soil-transmitted helminths; schistosomiasis; Philippines

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X