Tissue parasitic helminthiases are prevalent at Cheongjin, North Korea.

Chenghua Shen, Shunyu Li, Shanzi Zheng, Min Ho Choi, Young Mee Bae, Sung Tae Hong

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We investigated a small-scale serological survey to screen tissue-parasitic helminthiases of North Koreans as one of research programs for re-unification of Korea. Soil-transmitted helminthiases were found highly prevalent among North Korean residents at the border with China. ELISA using 4 tissue-parasitic helminth antigens was applied to 137 residents living in Cheongjin-shi, Hamgyeongbuk-do, North Korea and 133 female refugees in South Korea in 2004-2005. Among a total of 270 samples, 31 (11.5%), 25 (9.3%), and 11 (4.1%) were positive for specific IgG antibodies to antigens of Clonorchis sinensis, Taenia solium metacestode, and sparganum, respectively. The overall positive rate was 21.5%; 38.2% in males and 15.8% in females. The present finding suggests that tissue parasites, such as C. sinensis, T. solium metacestode and sparganum are highly prevalent in some limited areas of North Korea. These foodborne tissue-parasitic helminthiases should be considered for future control measures of parasitic diseases in North Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalThe Korean journal of parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

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