The presence of intestinal parasites in beach sand as indicators of fecal contamination and its relationship with environmental conditions Quizandal Beach, Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Methods:
116 sand samples were collected during the period March 2013- January 2014, through a systematic sampling in six geographical points of the beach. Environmental conditions, seasons, and pre and post holiday seasons, were recorded on a data collection instrument. Rugai modified techniques, Willis and wash with 0,85% saline solution with subsequent spontaneous sedimentation were used. Results:
10,4% of samples were positive for pathogens, of these, 50% with Strongyloides stercoralis
larvae, 37,5% with hookworm larvae and 12,5% with hookworm eggs. No statistically significant relationship between the rainy season / drought (p = 0,599), or pre / post holiday p = 0,629) periods with the frequency of pathogens recovered in sand samples analyzed were found. It showed a significant association with the relative humidity of the sand, resulting frequently in dried sand (p = 0,030). Conclusion:
fecal contamination is evident, often on the fringe of the beach where people have to sunbathe; which involves risks of parasitic infections of public health interest. Recommendation:
It is necessary to implement control strategies and education for proper disposal of human and / or animal faecal feaces in recreational areas, and include parasitological assessments within the criteria for cataloging a beach as fit or not.