Some parameters such as the infestation rate (IR) and PI were calculated. The IR corresponded to the percentage of positive samples compared to the total number of samples analysed. The IR gives an idea of the proportion of positive samples. However, most parasitology textbooks and laboratory manuals recommend the examination of at least three independently collected stool specimens to maximise the sensitivity of detecting intestinal parasites [12] especially when multiple specimens were examined. In the present study, patients often presented several stool samples several days in a row. Consequently, in order to avoid an overestimation of our results, we calculated the PI which corresponded to the percentage of parasitised patients in comparison with the total number of subjects studied. Thus, a patient with several positive parasitological examinations was evaluated only once in the analysis at the time of the first sampling. As fecal examinations were performed when there where fortuitous findings of hypereosinophilia in asymptomatic patients or in symptomatic patients with or without hypereosinophilia, the IR and PI did not estimate the prevalence of intestinal parasites in the whole population of French Guiana but in this specific population of patients.

The characteristics of the patients were presented as means ± standard deviation (SD) or medians [interquartile range (IQR)] for continuous variables, and as numbers (percentages) for categorical data. The categorical variables were compared using the χ2 test or Fisher’s exact test if necessary. All statistical analyses were performed using Stata 13.0 (StataCorp, College Station, TX). A P value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

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