Abstract: A study of intestinal parasitoses was carried out in the rural and urban areas of Nsukka, a metropolitan city in south eastern Nigeria from May to December 2005. A total of 2000 fecal samples were collected from individuals with symptoms suggestive of gastroenteritis from four different laboratories located within Nsukka Local Government Area. Prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides (17.4%), Entamoeba histolytica (11.8), Ancylostoma duodenale (11.4%) and Trichuris trichiura (11.1%) (p< 0.05) was established by the study. Infection rates of A. lumbricoides were higher in both the rural and urban centres than others (19.5 and 15.0%, respectively). A correlation between gender and urban parasitoses was also established: A. lumbricoides had higher prevalence rate among the males in the inland town of Nsukka (19 males infected), while G. lamblia was higher among the females (17 females infected). Within the University environment however, prevalence of A. lumbricoides, E. coli and A. duodenale were higher among the males (44, 43 and 39 males, respectively). Increased parasitoses was associated with unhygienic habits including eating with unwashed hands, improper waste disposal and/or gross environmental pollution with faecal matter, which constitute steady sources of contamination of surface and underground water supplies in these communities. Other factors include the common practice among children, of direct transfer of, or ingestion of cysts or ova of parasites from the anus to the mouth by not washing the hands after defecation. Evaluation of clinical cases established a close relationship between increased incidence of diarrhea, weight loss, anaemia severe abdominal cramps or pain and parasitic infestations particularly among children, thus incriminating intestinal parasites as major causes of morbidity and mortality among this group.
U.E. Dibua , O.J. Awagu and C.O. Esimone , 2007. Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitoses in the Nsukka Community of South Eastern Nigeria . International Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2: 33-40.