Comparative prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections
(ipis) in stool samples of patients attending UMTH
Maiduguri between 2006 and 2007; its community health
burden and proactive counter measures implications.
Ukoh V.1, Ozurumba L.N.2*
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. 2Parasitology Unit,Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria (address when this
study was conducted); 2ND Contact: School of Public Health, Walden University, Minneapolis MN, USA.
ABSTRACT: Intestinal Parasitic Infections (IPIs) is an important health issue in sub-saharan Africa. It has been
associated with causing mortality, morbidity, stunting of growth, body weakness and low educational
achievement among school children and even in adults, while also causing various harmful pathologies at
advanced states of infections. Addressing of un-equitably spread of developmental projects related to poor
access to portable drinking water and clean food, and environmental sanitation (state of personal hygiene) are
related public health features of IPIs.
A study was conducted to determine and comparatively compare the prevalence of intestinal parasitic
infections (IPIs) among patients who were presumptively diagnosed for suspected helminthic infections and
referred to the microbiology laboratory of UMTH Maiduguri for follow-up diagnostic tests between January
2006 and December 2007. Data was retrieved from the Laboratory and analyzed. Two methods were engaged
in the laboratory to screen the stool samples from the patients. Firstly, a direct smear and stain method was
engaged using normal saline with Lugolís Iodine solution. This was followed by a second method involving the
Formol-ether concentration stool screening technique. Results from both methods were matched to reduce
errors of missing out positive IPI results. Laboratory based screening of stool samples was done for egg, worms
or worm segments of IPIs; and the trophozoites or cysts (for Protozoan parasites) of the parasites. A total of
818 stool samples were examined in the laboratory and the data retrieved for analysis. Prevalence rate was
highest for E. histotytica (protozoan parasite responsible for amoabiasis) at 10.76%, [with 8.44% prevalence
rate difference from the closest IPIís prevalence which was Taenia sp], followed by Taenia sp (cause of
Taeniasis) at 2.32%; next was Strongyloides sp (1.59%) and Hookworm (1.47%)Ė all helminthic parasites. This
was followed by Giardia (1.22%), Schistosoma (1.22%), Hymenolepsis nana (0.61%) and Iodamoeba sp (0.24%).
All the other IPIs that were observed had a prevalence rate of 0.12% (1/818). The protozoan parasite with the
highest prevalence value was Entamoeba hystolytica (10.76%). This indicates that the study population should
pay the most attention to steps to curtail and prevent infection by E. histolytica parasitic infection. The
helminthic parasites Taenia, Strongyloides and Hookworm had higher prevalence rates than the other
helminthic parasites observed in the study population. The other two protozoans of Iodamoeba and
Cryptosporidium recorded very low levels compared to E. histolytica and Giardia. Apparently, they (Iodamoeba
and Cryptosporidium) posed least public community health importance and burden in the study population.
KEYWORDS: Intestinal, parasitic, stool, prevalence, community.
CORRESPONDENCE:Leon Ozurumba, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org