Prevalence and Public Health Significance of Gastro-Intestinal Parasites in Human and Dog Faeces Deposited in Public Places in Maiduguri, Nigeria

C O Nwosu, H Abba, A Mohammed


Faecal materials of human and canine origin and soil samples from different locations inMaidugurimetropolis were examined for the presence of gastro-intestinal parasites between January and March 1996.  A total  of 362 human and 64 dog faeces, and 80 soil samples were examined with 156 (43.1%), 24 (37.5%) and 10 (12.5%) of them respectively containing the cysts and/or ova of one or more gastro-intestinal parasite.  Ascarid and hookworm ova and Entmoeba cysts were the most common parasites encountered in human faeces and occurred in 50 (13.8%), 38 (9.4%) and 34 (9.4%) of the samples respectively.  Other parasites encountered in human faeces were Taenia (6.6%), Trichuris (4.4%), Schistosoma (2.8%), Hymenolepis (2.2% and Giardia (0.6%) species.  Only hookworm and ascarid (Toxocara) ova were encountered in dog faeces (37.5% and 3.1% respectively) and soil samples (5.0% and 10.0% respectively) examined during the period.  Although public places in most parts ofMaiduguriappeared to be highly contaminated with gastro-intestinal parasites of man and dogs, the contamination was significantly more common (P<0.05) in high density than low density areas of the metropolis.  The public health significance of these findings are discussed.

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