Helminthiasis is a term describing a parasitic infection by helminths, a wide group of roundworms, flukes, and tapeworms. They infect a substantial proportion of the world's population, particularly in poorly developed areas, such as South East Asia and certain parts of Africa and Latin America. The diagnosis rests on clinical criteria, a properly obtained patient history with an emphasis on demographics, travel, and microbiological studies.
Helminths are multicellular parasitic organisms that can cause a range of infections . They are encountered in the areas of the developed world with poor sanitation and socioeconomic conditions, and where various vectors that facilitate their transmission are present   . More than 2 billion people are affected worldwide. Helminthiasis, is an infection caused by several parasites which are classified as       :
As the majority of helminths can be diagnosed through appropriate microbiological methods, it is the physician's clinical suspicion during the assessment of the patient which plays an important role in the workup. Because helminthiasis encompasses a large number of parasitic organisms, however, a comprehensive clinical and laboratory workup is vital in narrowing the list of potential pathogens responsible for the infection. As most helminths are endemic for tropical parts of the world, a detailed patient history of recent travel to these areas, or if they resided in these parts of the world for a prolonged period of time    should be obtained. If patients did visit endemic regions, the physician should further assess if they consumed local products or were exposed to water sources that may have been contaminated  . After performing a meticulous physical examination, laboratory workup should start with a complete blood count (CBC), which will reveal eosinophilia, one of the most important findings that point toward helminthiasis as the underlying cause of symptoms . Current diagnostic strategies advise testing of feces, sputum, blood, urine, skin, and biopsies of the liver or muscle in rare cases, but the examination of feces is perhaps the main diagnostic method in the field of parasitology     . The majority of parasites are excreted in stool in their egg form, including all intestinal roundworms, the majority of flukes, and tapeworms as well (Taenia saginata, T. solium, Diphyllobothrium latum and Hymenolepsis nana)    . On the other hand, detection of specific antibodies is available for several helminths, such as Strongyloides stercoralis, T. spiralis, lymphatic filariae (W. bancrofti and b. malayi), virtually all flukes, and T. canis and T. cati  .