Implication of cockroaches as vectors of gastrointestinal parasites in parts of Osogbo, Southwestern Nigeria

Abstract : Cockroaches are one of the ubiquitous insects around human residential areas and their filthy habits make them to be potential carriers of pathogens. In this study, we document the potential health risks associated with cockroaches as mechanical vectors of medically important gastro-intestinal parasites in Osogbo, Southwestern Nigeria. The body surface and the faecal samples of the cockroaches collected from residential area and hospital vicinity were screened for the parasites between November 2011 and February 2012. Thirteen (23.63%) of the 55 cockroaches collected in residential area harboured gastro-intestinal parasites while 16 (35.55%) of the 45 cockroaches from hospital vicinity harboured parasites. Cysts / ova of six gastro-intestinal parasites namely cyst of Entamoeba hystolitica, cysts of Balantidium coli, ova of Ascaris lumbricoides, cyst of E. coli, ova of Enterobius vermicularis and ova of hookworm were encountered in the body surface and faecal samples of the cockroaches during this study. The cockroaches from hospital vicinity harboured more parasites (five out of six) than residential areas (four out of six) but the difference in parasite burden was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The promotion of hygienic conditions and periodical fumigation of the environment become imperative so as to control the population of cockroaches and reduce the health risks associated with their presence in the study area
Keyword : Cockroaches, residential area, hospital, gastro-intestinal parasites, health risks, Nigeria
Author(s) : , M. A. Adeleke, H. A. Akatah, A. O. Hassan, S. O. Sam-Wobo, T. M. Famodimu, G. O. Olatunde, C. F. Mafiana
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