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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:


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