We studied the stool samples of 151 school children in a district of the city of Portoviejo (Ecuador) in order to determine the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and their relationships with anthropometric indices. The samples were analyzed with the semiquantitative Kato-Katz technique and the intensity of infections was categorized as light, moderate or high according to the thresholds set by the World Health Organization. Prevalence of soil transmitted helmintiasis was 65% (92 out of 141 collected samples), Ascaris lumbricoides
was the most common STH (63%) followed by Trichuris trichiura
(10%) and hookworm (1.4%). Heavy intensity infections were found in 8.5% of the stool samples, with T. trichiura
showing higher worm burdens than A. lumbricoides
. Sixteen percent of the children were below the third percentile for weight (wasted), while 27% were below the third percentile for height (stunted). A significant relationship was found between the worm burden and the degree of stunting. This study suggests that the periodic administration of an antihelminthic drug should be targeted to preschool and school children to allow a normal growth spurt and prevent stunting.