PAN AFRICAN JOURNAL OF LIFE SCIENCES
Volume 5, No. 1, April 2021
Parasitological Assessment of Some Selected Vegetables Commonly Consumed Raw in Ankpa Local Government, Kogi State North Central Nigeria
Joshua Idakwo1*, MuniratEleojo Usman1, Emmanuel Taiwo Idowu2, Bashir Alabi Ali3, and Queen Pheobe Akoh4
1Department of Animal & Environmental Biology, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria.
2Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, Lagos State Nigeria
3Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria. 4Department of Microbiology, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria.
Background: Consumption of raw vegetables without proper washing can act as a potential route of transmission of some infectious and parasitic diseases. This study determined the parasitic contamination of vegetables sold in some markets in Ankpa Local Government Area, Kogi State.
Methodology: Vegetables was purchased from selected markets in Ankpa Local Government Area, North Central of Nigeria. Two hundred and forty samples of six different vegetable types – Carrot, Spinach, Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Cucumber and Garden egg were purchased from three different markets. The vegetables were examined microscopically for the presence of parasites using standardized parasitological techniques for protozoans and helminths.
Results: Remarkable level of intestinal protozoa and helminthes contaminations of different life stages were recovered. Out of the 240 samples, 34 (14.2%) were positive for different species of parasites. Entamoeba histolytica 15 (6.3%) had the highest occurrence while Strongyloidesstercoralis(0.4%) had the least. Other parasites recovered include Hookworm eggs (2.1%), Giardia lamblia (1. 7%), Fasciola hepatica (0.8%), Trichuris trichiura (1.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides(0.8%), and Taenia spp (0.8%). A significant difference was observed in the prevalence of the identified parasites (p≤0.05). Spinach contamination had the highest parasitic load of 20.0%, while Garden egg had the least with 10.0%. Prevalence of parasites varied across markets, with Ankpa main market having the highest with 15.9% compared to Afor (12.5%) and Ukwo (10.3%) located in the interior. No significant difference was observed among the markets and the vegetables (p≤0.05)
Conclusion: Raw vegetables investigated are contaminated with pathogenic parasites. Therefore, consumers need to ensure necessary hygiene practices before consuming vegetables purchased from markets to reduce the risk of infection by parasites associated with vegetables.
Keywords: Intestinal parasites, Protozoa, Helminthes, Vegetables, Ankpa, Nigeria