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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 153-157

Intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin city, Nigeria


Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Date of Submission10-Mar-2016
Date of Acceptance29-Jul-2016
Date of Web Publication19-Sep-2016

Correspondence Address:
Frederick Olusegun Akinbo
Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.190857

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  Abstract 

Background: The accumulation of metals in the human system may inhibit or enhance the growth of pathogens, particularly parasitic infections. Objective: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and two male traders were recruited for this study. The age of participants ranged from 20 to 67 years. Freshly voided stool specimen was obtained from each participant into clean wide-mouthed universal container. Intestinal parasites were diagnosed using microscopy. Results: An overall prevalence of 22.8% of intestinal parasitic infections was observed in this study. Age, marital status, and source of food significantly increased the risk of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders. Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis, hookworm, Entamoeba histolytica, and Fasciola hepatica were the parasites observed in this study. In all age groups and those who eat from food vendors, A. lumbricoides was the most recovered parasite among spare parts traders. Conclusion: Further studies to elucidate the role of immunotoxic metals in intestinal parasitic infections, inclusion of economically productive age groups in the treatment plan, and improvement of personal hygiene are advocated.

Keywords: Benin City, intestinal parasites, spare parts traders


How to cite this article:
Akinbo FO, Arimokwu S. Intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin city, Nigeria. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med 2016;3:153-7

How to cite this URL:
Akinbo FO, Arimokwu S. Intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin city, Nigeria. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 17];3:153-7. Available from: http://www.ssajm.org/text.asp?2016/3/3/153/190857


  Introduction Top


Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections worldwide, [1] particularly among the poor and socioeconomically deprived communities of the tropics and subtropics. [2] These parasites are a major cause of morbidity in developing countries and are increasingly important in certain populations from the developed countries. [3],[4] Intestinal parasitic diseases are important hygiene problems as it hinders socioeconomic development in many countries, particularly in developing countries. The transmission of these parasites is predominantly encouraged by lack of safe drinking water, illiteracy, poor personal hygiene, poverty, and humid tropical climate. [5],[6]

An estimated over 2 billion people are infected with helminths, out of which the majorities live in resource-poor settings. [7] Based on the World Health Organization estimates, over 1 billion people are infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, 740 million with hookworm, 795 million with Trichuris trichiura, [8] 50-100 million with Strongyloides stercoralis, 200 million with Enterobius vermicularis[9],[10] and 480 million with Entamoeba histolytica. [11] About 39 disability-adjusted life years has been attributed to intestinal parasitic infections, [12] which represents a considerable economic burden and death, particularly among patients with invasive amoebiasis. [13]

Human activities frequently produce concentrations of chemical compounds such as pesticides, hydrocarbons, and metals. [14] Spare parts traders are likely to have a number of these metals accumulated within their system over time as they spend a better part of their day at the spare parts markets than elsewhere. Information is lacking about the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin City, Edo State. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.


  Materials and methods Top


Study Area

This study was conducted at motor spare parts markets in Benin City, Edo State.

Study Population

The study was conducted at the Uwelu and Evbareka spare parts markets, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, between February and August 2015. Two hundred and two male traders were recruited for this study. Informed consent was obtained from each subject before specimen collection. Random sampling technique was used in selecting participants for this study and only participants who consented to participate were included in this study. A well-structured questionnaire on sociodemographic characteristics was administered to each participant. The protocol for this study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State.

Collection and Processing of Specimen

Freshly voided stool specimen was obtained from each participant into a clean wide-mouthed universal container. The stool specimens were macroscopically examined for consistency, color, presence of blood and mucus, presence of segment or adult intestinal parasites. The freshly voided stool specimens were processed using the formol-ether concentration technique and examined microscopically for intestinal parasites as previously described. [15] Briefly, 1 g of the stools specimen was emulsified in 4 ml of 10% formol saline and mixed. The mixture was filtered through cotton gauze into a centrifuge tube and to the filtrate; 4 ml of diethyl ether was added and mixed. The mixture was spun at 3000 rpm for 3 min. The supernatant was discarded, and from the deposit, saline and iodine mounts were prepared and examined for the presence of intestinal parasites.

Data Analysis

The data obtained were analyzed using Chi-square and odd ratio analysis. The software INSTAT (GraphPad Software Inc., La Jolla, CA, USA) was used for all statistical analyses.


  Results Top


An overall prevalence of 22.8% of intestinal parasitic infection was observed among spare parts traders. The participants' age ranged from 20 to 67 years. The age of spare parts traders was significantly associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections (P = 0.0353). Marital status showed that there was a significantly higher risk (P < 0.0001) of intestinal parasitic infection among single (50%) when compared with their married (7.7%) counterparts. Educational status, source of water, washing of hands, and type of toilet did not significantly affect the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders (P > 0.05). Source of food significantly increased the risk of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders (P = 0.0079), [Table 1].
Table 1: Effect of demographic characteristics on the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders

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The intestinal parasites observed in this study were A. lumbricoides, S. stercoralis, hookworm, E. histolytica, and Fasciola hepatica. A. lumbricoides was the most prevalent parasite recovered in this study (58.7%), [Table 2].
Table 2: Frequency of parasites recovered among spare parts traders

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A. lumbricoides was the most distributed parasite in all the age groups, with the 31-40 years having the highest prevalence (78.6%) [Table 3].

Spare parts traders who had vendors as their source of food had A. lumbricoides as the most prevalent parasite [Table 4].
Table 3: Parasitic infections in relation to age group

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Table 4: Parasitic infections in relation to source of food

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  Discussion Top


Intestinal parasites are responsible for an enormous burden of infection throughout the world and are regarded as threats to human health. [16] The prevalence and intensity of parasitic infections are particularly high in developing countries, among populations with poor environmental sanitation.

Practices such as hand washing, disposal of refuse, personal hygiene, wearing of shoes, and others that are done properly may contribute to intestinal parasitic infections in the environments. [17] There is a need to have accurate and reliable documentation on the epidemiology and distribution of parasitic infections among different populations. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to observe intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin City.

It is commonly accepted that there are two ways by which metals may affect the epidemiology of pathogens: Pathogens infecting an organism can be affected by the toxicity of metals absorbed by the host, [18],[19] or metals can play an important role in different physiological pathways of the vertebrate immune system. [20] It is a common believe that contamination from metals increased the production of reactive oxygen species that causes increase in oxidative stress and consequently impair the immune system, thereby predisposing an individual to pathogenic infections. [21],[22] Cadmium and lead have been reported as immunotoxic, [20] and our study population would have been exposed to an appreciable concentration of these metals over time. The prevalence of parasitic infections in different populations is a function of many different factors which may be environmental factors, parasitic factors, and host factors. [23] The overall prevalence of 22.8% of intestinal parasitic infection observed in this study is lower than that reported in several other studies. Nduka et al. [24] observed a prevalence of 30.6% in a mining community in Ishiagu, Abia State; Akinbo et al. [25] recorded a prevalence of 33.4% among artisans in Benin City, Edo State. A possible explanation for our finding may be the level of immunotoxic metals exposure would not have been high enough in our subjects to have caused immune impairment that would have predisposed them to intestinal parasitic infections.

The increase in prevalence with age has important public health consequences, particularly in developing countries where the population that is most affected are the economically productive age groups, but preventive chemotherapy programs mainly target preschool and school age groups. [26] Age of spare parts traders significantly increased the risk of intestinal parasitic infections (P = 0.0353), with the 20-30 years of age group having the highest prevalence (32.2%). This observation is inconsistent with the study of Akinbo et al. [25] The reason for the difference is unclear.

Being single is significantly affected the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders in Benin City. This finding differs from the previous report of Akinbo et al. [25] The difference may be attributed to the fact that singles are more likely to eat most of the time outside their homes from food vendors, canteen, and restaurant, some of which might have poor hygiene standards.

Level of education, source of water, none washing of hands, and type of toilet did not significantly affect the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders.

Spare parts traders are likely to eat food and drink water from contaminated sources while carrying out their business as they spend a better part of their day at work. The practice of sale of food to school children by food vendors whose personal hygiene is doubtful has been reported to influence a higher prevalence of intestinal parasites in public school. [27] The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections was strongly affected by source of food where spare parts traders who eat from food vendors presented with the highest prevalence (32.3%) of intestinal parasitic infections when compared with other sources of food. This finding is inconsistent with the previous study of Akinbo et al., [25] where source of food did not significantly associate with the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among artisans.

Lack of resources in terms of health infrastructure, manpower, drugs, political will, traditional beliefs, and customs are some of the barriers militating against the control of intestinal parasites. [28] The intestinal parasites recovered in this study were A. lumbricoides, S. stercoralis, hookworm, E. Histolytica, and F. hepatica. A. lumbricoides was the most prevalent parasite recovered in this population. This finding is in tandem with previous studies of Nduka et al. [24] and Akinbo et al. [25] The finding that A. lumbricoides is more common in urban settings [29] was also observed in this study. Previous studies have demonstrated that about 5-15 min of dermal contact is needed for hookworm larva to pierce the skin and gain entry into the human body. [30],[31] The timing and duration of contact with infested soil play a major role in determining the acquisition of hookworm infection. [32]

In all age groups, A. lumbricoides was the most prevalent parasite recovered. In Nigeria, poor hygiene and poverty are common; therefore, irrespective of age group, every participant may be exposed to the same type of infection which may include contaminated water, food, soil, or dirty environment. This may explain the finding in this study.

A. lumbricoides is the most prevalent parasite in food vendor and homemade food while E. histolytica is the most prevalent parasite recovered from the restaurant. Poor sanitation and hygiene at home and among food vendors may be responsible for high prevalence of A. lumbricoides. The municipal source of water is unavailable in most homes in Benin City as a result of which people now resort to water from questionable sources for domestic use. This may be responsible for the presence of E. histolytica among those who eat in restaurant as restaurant owners may use water from questionable sources to prepare their meal as well as give their clients for consumption.


  Conclusion Top


A prevalence of 22.8% of intestinal parasitic infections was observed in this study. Age, marital status, and source of food significantly increased the risk of intestinal parasitic infections among spare parts traders. A. lumbricoides, S. stercoralis, hookworm, E. Histolytica, and F. hepatica were the parasites observed in this study. In all age groups and those who eat from food vendors, A. lumbricoides was the most recovered parasite among spare parts traders. Further studies to elucidate the role of immunotoxic metals in intestinal parasitic infections, inclusion of the economically productive groups in the treatment, and improved personal hygiene are advocated.

Acknowledgments

We appreciate the traders who participated in this study for their cooperation.

Financial Support and Sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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