Discipline: Public Health
In developing countries, like the Philippines, soil-transmitted helminths (STH) infections are a major public health problem and have constituted a universal burden to humans infected commonly through accidental ingestion of embryonated eggs from the soil or through contaminated hands and fomites. The aim of this study is to determine the contamination rate of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) on soils sampled from elementary schools in Lucban, Quezon, Philippines. The soil samples were randomly selected and were processed by sucrose-floatation technique. Results show that, out of 384 soil samples, 177 (46.09%) were found to be contaminated with soil-transmitted helminths (STH). Among the parasites observed, Toxocara sp. (24.48%) had the highest contamination rate while Hymenolepis sp. (0.52%) was the least prevalent. However, the contamination rate and mean density showed no significant difference (p=0.127). Moreover, correlation analysis suggests that STH eggs were prevalent in soils with high moisture content, high soil temperature, basic, and silty soil texture. These results reveal the extent of soil contamination from elementary schools in Lucban, Quezon, Philippines is relatively high; hence, it is hoped that this study will raise public awareness for the development of management practices and prevention strategies regarding parasite contamination in soil.