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Soil Contamination with Soil Transmitted Helminths in different locations in Ihiala L.G.A Anambra State, South East, Nigeria.

M. C. Igbodika, A. O. Ekesiobi, P. U. Umeanaeto

Abstract


Soil transmitted helminths (STHs) otherwise known as geohelminths are a group of helminths parasites with an essential part of their life cycle in the soil. The commonest and well known of such parasites are Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Hookworm and Strongyloides stercoralis. These helminths are parasitic nematodes, which could infect humans and animals by contact with eggs or infective larvae and in some cases cause serious disorders.  The present study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of geohelminths eggs in the soil from different locations of Ihiala L.G.A. Anambra State, South East, Nigeria.  A total of 1,813 soil samples were collected from different locations such as household, school compounds, markets, churches, village square and common pathways. The collection was done in the morning hours from 6.00 am – 11.00 am, when the larvae and eggs of geohelminths are still active and fresh. The samples were analysed by the zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) floatation technique and examined under light microscope using 10X and 40X objectives.   Out of 1,813 soil samples examined a total of 908 (50.1%) were contaminated with different geohelminths eggs. The highest occurrence was recorded in household yards (64.3%) followed by village square (59.8%) while the least occurrence was observed in church premises (27.4%). Ascaris was the commonest parasite recovered from household yards whereas Hookworm was the commonest in village square. Strongyloides stercoralis larvae were only recovered from household yards (1.2%). Ascaris has the overall highest prevalence in soil samples (25.0%) while the least was Strongyloides (0.5%). These differences were found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). From the results, there is evidence of ova and larva of human geohelminths parasites in soils of Ihiala L.G.A of Anambra State South eastern Nigeria thereby exposing the inhabitants to great risk of infection.   


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