Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Intestinal Helminth Infections among City Dwellers of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Mandira Mukutmoni, Sumaiya Islam, Hamida Khanum

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 1-8

Aims: The aim of the study was to determine intestinal helminth prevalence and risk factors among urban dwelling people of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Study Design: Cross sectional study.

Place and Duration of the Study: A total of 78 stool samples were collected from the residents of Shantinagar area of Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 2019 to August 2019.

Methodology: The respondents were requested to provide their stool samples in supplied container and to fill up a questionnaire regarding their demographic background and household practices. Formol Ether Concentration technique was applied to process the stool samples.

Results: Of the 78 respondents, 42 (53.85%) were infected with at least one helminth. Ascaris lumbricoides (23.08%) showed the highest prevalence following Taenia sp. (11.54%). Education, pattern of consuming antihelminthic drugs, trends of footwear use, eating raw vegetables and undercooked meat were significant risk factors. Respondents who had idea about transmission mode of parasites showed high prevalence of intestinal helminths. Enteric troubles were noticed among the helminth infected respondents.

Conclusion: Increase of hygiene practices among the urban dwellers is essential.

Open Access Original Research Article

Malaria Parasitaemia and Intensity among Voluntary Blood Donors in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria

Afam Chibuike Okafor, Chinyelu Angela Ekwunife, Pauline Ukamaka Umeanaeto, Kindness Chidi Irikannu

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 9-17

Aim: To investigate malaria parasitaemia and intensity of infection in voluntary blood donors in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Study Design: The study was a cross sectional survey, cutting across communities, age, sex, occupational and educational groups. A total of 200 voluntary blood donors within the ages of 15 and 65 years, participated in the study.

Duration of Study: The study was conducted between March 2017 and June 2018 at the Department of Pathology, River State University Teaching Hospital, Port-Harcourt.

Methodology: Venous blood was collected from study participants. Thick and thin blood films were made, stained with 10% dilution of Giemsa and blood films examined using microscope.

Results: Of the 200 participants, 151 (75.5%) were males and 49 (24.5%) females. Blood specimens analysis revealed that 57 (28.5%) participants were malaria parasites positive. Among them, 36(63.2%) were males and 21(36.8%) were females. The highest malaria prevalence, 11(42.3%) was observed in Nkporlu community and the least 15(21.1%) in Port-Harcourt Township. Malaria prevalence was highest among the age group of 46-55 years 6(66.7%) and least among age 26-35 years 14(16.7%) which was statistically significant (P<0.05; P=0.000). Artisans and participants with primary education recorded highest prevalence of 6(100%) and 1(100.0%) respectively, while traders and those that attained secondary education had 9(18.8%) and 29(25.4%) respectively. There was a significant difference in malaria prevalence in relation to occupation (P<0.05, P = 0.001) but not with educational status (P > 0.05; P = 0.574). Malaria parasite intensities were mild 31(54.4%), moderate 24(42.1%) and heavy 2(3.5%), although not significant (P>0.05).

Conclusion: Malaria screening should be made compulsory for all prospective blood donors throughout the country, despite the challenges posed by testing capacity constraints.

Open Access Original Research Article

Glutamate-Rich Protein Gene Sequences of a Rodent Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium berghei NK65, and Human Plasmodium falciparum Strains are Homologous

Ishaya Yohanna Longdet, Richard Joseph Kutshik, Ngozi Yvonne Chibundu, Bitrus Yakubu, Dinci Tyem Davou

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 18-27

Aim: To explore the molecular characteristics of glutamine rich protein (GLURP) gene in Plasmodium berghei NK65 and compare its genetic relatedness with those of Plasmodium falciparum. The GLURP is a key surface antigen and its gene a genetic marker for genotyping in malaria epidemiology.

Study Design: The design chose for this study was an experimental research.

Place and Duration: The study was undertaken in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Jos between October 2018 and June 2019.

Methods: Total Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted from the whole blood of Plasmodium berghei NK65 infected mice using ZR Quick-gDNA™ Miniprep Kit (ZYMO RESEARCH). PCR was done using Gene Ampp9700. The amplicon was analyzed in 2% agarose gel, documented with ChemiGenuis® Gel Documentation System (Synegene) and sequenced at Inqaba Biotec Industries, South Africa. Finch TV® (GeoPiza) was used to access the GLURP nucleotide sequence and analysed using National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLASTn) and CLUSTAL O analyses tools.

Result: The polymerase chain reaction product, about 1kb, gave 863bp partial length GLURP gene of Plasmodium berghei NK65 strain. The bioinformatics analyses gave Blast Hits: Plasmodium falciparum GLURP gene (AF191065.1) with 98.23% identity; (AF247634.1) with 94.93% identity; and (XM_001347592.1) with 94.66% identity. This shows high similarity between Plasmodium berghei NK65 GLURP gene sequence and that of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

Conclusion: The presence of GLURP gene was reported for the first time in Plasmodium berghei NK65 which is homologous to strains of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence and Intensity of Urinary Schistosomiasis among the Primary School Children of Some Selected Villages of Shinkafi Local Government Area, Zamfara State, Nigeria

A. Y. Bala, Salau, Shafa’atu, H. M. Bandiya, Mahmuda, Aliyu, J. Suleiman

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 28-35

Aim: The study was conducted to determine the prevalence and intensity of Urinary Schistosomiasis among Primary School children in selected villages of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Nigeria.

Study Design: The study was designed to target a total of 400 primary school pupils from four (4) selected villages of the ten (10) districts of Shinkafi Local Government.

Place and Duration of Study: Badarawa, kware, Jengeru, and Kurya primary schools of Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State, from August 2017 to March 2018.

Methodology: Four hundred (400) urine samples were collected from Primary Schools of Badarawa, Kware, Kurya and Jangeru villages using clean sample bottles covered with screw cup, the samples were examined visually and microscopically after filtration. All results obtained were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and binary logistic regression analysis.

Results: One hundred and seventy three (173) pupils were positive for Schistosoma haematobium given a prevalence of 43.3% with a mean egg intensity of 11.45 egg/10 ml of urine. A significantly higher infection rate of 76.0% with a higher intensity of 16.81 egg/10 ml of urine was recorded among pupils with blood-brown urine colour. Pupils from Badarawa primary schools accounted for the highest prevalence (73.0%) with also higher intensity of (26.94 egg/10 ml of urine) with significant association for the prevalence and significant difference for the mean egg intensity. Prevalence and intensity were observed to be not significant based on gender, age groups and parents occupations in the study areas.

Conclusion: Prevalence and intensity were significantly high based on urine colour and primary schools. Mass chemotherapy and awareness among the pupils and people in the study areas should be considered for future prevention measures.

Open Access Original Research Article

Parasitic Contamination of Fruits and Vegetables Collected From Selected Local Markets in Katagum Region, Northeast Nigeria

Babangida Ahmad, Bashir Mohammed Abubakar, Abdullahi Dauda, Haladu A. Gagman

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 36-43

Aim: Parasitic contaminations are major public health problems more, especially in developing countries. The consumption of fresh fruits or vegetables which are not adequately washed serves as one of the major channels through which humans being getting infected. The study was carried out to determine parasitic contamination of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables sold in two selected markets in Katagum region of Bauchi State, northeast Nigeria.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in two selected local markets, namely, Azare central market and Gadau central market of Katagum region, from July to October 2019.

Methodology: A total of 175 fresh fruits and vegetable samples consisting of banana, mango, orange, cabbage and spinach were purchased from two selected local markets. 200g of each fruit and vegetable sample was washed separately in normal physiological saline for detaching the helminths and protozoan’s parasites assumed to be associated with the products. After 24 hours sedimentation of the washing solution, 15 ml of the sediment was centrifuged and further prepared for microscopic examination.

Results: The overall prevalence of parasitic contamination was 23.4%. The most frequently detected helminths parasite eggs were Ascaris lumbricoides (7.4%), followed by Taenia spp (6.3%), hookworms (2.9%), Fasciola spp (1.7%), Hymenolepis diminuta, Hymenolepis hana (1.1%) and Strongyloides spp. larva (0.6%). Among the protozoa, the cysts of Entamoeba spp. (1.7%) were the most commonly detected, followed by Giardia spp. (0.6%). The highest level of contamination was found in cabbage, with a prevalence rate of 37.1%, while the lowest contamination level was found in mango and spinach, with a prevalence rate of 17.1%. The occurrence of parasite contamination in Gadau central market (23%) was statistically significant than that of Azare central market (18%) (χ2=12.46, df=1, p=0.00).

Conclusion: The findings of this study show that the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables with parasite contamination in this area represents a potential agent for the transmission of these parasites to humans.  Therefore, health authorities must sensitize farmers, vendors, and consumers on the dangers associated with the consumption of contaminated fruits and vegetables. The principle of personal hygiene, such as the washing of the fruits and vegetables before eating, should be advocating the inhabitant of this region as this will drastically help reduced parasitic contamination.

Open Access Original Research Article

Malaria Prevalence and Haemoglobin Level Assessment among Patients Attending a Healthcare Facility in North Central Nigeria

Chidiebere A. Otuu, Rose N. N. Obiezue, Innocent C. J. Omalu, Ada Q. A. Otuu, Samuel S. Eke, Emmanuel O. Udeh, Innocent C. Ekuma, Suleiman C. Hassan, Hadijah U. Yamman

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 44-51

Aim: This study was carried out to assess malaria prevalence and haemoglobin (Hb) level among patients attending a healthcare facility in Abuja, North Central Nigeria.

Methodology: Study Design: Malaria parasite infection among the patients was determined by microscopy while the Hb levels was determined using the Mission Haemoglobin test meter. A total of 550 patients who came for consultation at the outpatient clinic of the hospital and whose written informed consents were obtained were randomly recruited for the study. This comprised of 288 adult males and 262 non-pregnant adult females.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at the Outpatient Clinic of Gwarinpa General Hospital, a healthcare facility in Abuja, North Central Nigeria. The study was conducted from March 2019 to May 2019.

Results: The overall malaria prevalence was 60.6%. The prevalence was significantly different both by age and gender (P < 0.05).  In adult males the malaria prevalence was 64.2% while it was 56.5% in non-pregnant adult females. The mean Hb level among malaria positive patients was10.3g/dL while it was 12.5 g/dL among malaria negative patients. The mean Hb level in malaria positive adult males was 9.7 g/dL while it was 13.8 g/dL in malaria negative adult males. Also the mean Hb level in malaria positive non-pregnant females was 9.2 g/dL while it was 12.3 g/dL in malaria negative non-pregnant females. Pearson’s correlation analysis showed that there was a significant difference at the 0.05 level.

Conclusion: It was concluded from the results of this study that malaria parasite infection if not confirmed by malaria test and treated promptly may lower haemoglobin levels and lead to anaemia in affected patients.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Survey on the Ectoparasites and Haemoparasites of Bats Trapped in Ogbunike Caves, Anambra State, Nigeria

O. P. Okeke, J. J. Okeke, E. V. Orjiagu, B. U. Ononye, N. Udeh, I. M. Ike, C. A. Imaku

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 52-56

The survey of ectoparasites and haemoparasites of bats was carried out with 41 samples from Ogbunike Caves in Anambra State, Nigeria. The removal of Ectoparasites from the body of bats was carried out by brushing of the fur from the different region into a clean white calico material. To avoid damage to the morphology, the parasites brushed out were collected from the white calico material for examination using a pair of blunt forceps. The ectoparasites identified were Cimocidae (Bat bugs), Nycteribiidae (Bat flies), Ixoodes verertiliomis (Bat tick), Leptotrombidium spp. (Chigger mite larva) and Macronyssus spp. The haemoparasites were identified in the laboratory through parasitological diagnosis using Giemsa stained thin and thick films. The blood samples were subjected to a saline wet mount as well as microhaemocrit concentration technique. The haemoparasites identified were Plasmodium and Trypanosoma species. Statistical analysis using chi-square test showed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in prevalence of ectoparasite and haemoparasites between male and female bats. It is recommended that Cave visitors and tourists should cover themselves properly before entering the Caves.

Open Access Original Research Article

Level of Knowledge, Attitude and Treatment Practices for the Malaria among the Community Members of Four Selected Villages of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State Nigeria

A. Y. Bala, Salau, Shafa’atu, H. M. Bandiya, Mahmuda Aliyu, J. Suleiman

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 57-63

Aim: Malaria disease causes severe lost of lives in many parts of Nigeria due poor knowledge, attitude and treatment practices among the people. The aim of the present study is to investigate the level of knowledge, attitude and treatment practices for the malaria among the people in four selected villages of Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State.

Study Design: This study was designed to target 400 community members, 100 individuals each from Badarawa, Jangeru, Kware and Kurya Villages of Shinkafi.

Place and Duration of Study: Badarawa, kware, Jengeru, and Kurya communities of Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State, between August 2017 and March 2018.

Methodology: Respondents were selected randomly and individual based questionnaire was administered to each participant, each participant was asked to fill the questionnaire based on his knowledge, the data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented as percentage in tables.

Results: Results of the present study indicated that, majority of the participants (73.25%) had the knowledge of malaria, most of the people in the study areas (93.75%) did not have any information on causes of malaria, only 49..50% are receiving help from the government and only 45.5% of the respondents used repellants for control of mosquito vector while 70.25% of the respondents educate their children on malaria. Hence, attitudes toward prevention and control of the malaria was poor due to inadequate facilities for the treatment and control of malaria in the study area as indicated from liked questions of the questionnaire.

Conclusion: In conclusion, although majority of the people were found to have knowledge of malaria in the study areas, it was observed that, most of the members in the study areas were lacking good practice toward prevention and control of malaria due to inadequate facilities and poor knowledge for the prevention and control.

Open Access Original Research Article

Some Physico-chemical Parameters of Atavu River that Influence Gastropod Density at Amagunze Nigeria

O. O. Ikpeze, C. Gregory Eze, U. C. Ngenegbo, M. E. Obikwelu, Nri Mary-Jane, A. U. Ubaka

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 64-79

Aims: The study was focused on the influence of some physico-chemical parameters of water on gastropod density at Atavu River waterlines, Amagunze south-eastern Nigeria.

Study Design: Cross-sectional prospective field study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Atavu River Amagunze, south-eastern Nigeria, between November 2018 and July 2019.

Methodology: Three 20 m2-quadrat stations were delineated from three respective communities on Atavu River water-lines for gastropod and water sampling for the determinations of some water parameters that could influence gastropod density. Gastropods were sampled with the scoop net for 9 months (November 2017-July 2018) while the species as well as cercariae shed in the laboratory were morphologically identified with Malacology Keys. Water was sampled for routine determination of water temperature, depth, current, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved solids (TDS), calcium ions (Ca++) and hydrogen ion concentration (pH). Data on gastropod abundance and water parameters were subjected to descriptive statistics. Regression and correlation analysis were employed to determine the nature and degree of relationships between gastropod density and variable physico-chemical parameters of Atavu River.

Results: A total of 197 gastropods were collected from all sampled stations in 9 months, giving an overall mean density of 0.12 snails.m⁻². The percentages of identified species were Bulinus africanus (45.7), B. globosus (33.0), and B. truncatus (21.7). About 9.5% of the gastropods recovered shed the characteristic fork-tailed cercariae of Bulinus species in the laboratory. Regression of variables on gastropod density indicated positive correlation with Ca++, TDS, DO and electrical conductivity but negative with water current and depth. Water temperature and pH were not easily correlated with gastropod density. Human activities like bathing, swimming, washing, fetching of water for domestic use were observed at Atavu River-lines during the study period.

Conclusion: Fork-tailed cercariae-shedding Bulinus species have been recovered from Atavu river-lines where some water parameters influenced gastropod density. Bulinus species are known intermediate hosts of Schistosoma species that cause schistosomiasis. The on-going and unrestricted water-contact activities at Atavu river is a potential risk for schistosomiasis in Amagunze.  This paper advocates for an innovative approach to schistosomiasis control in the study area and elsewhere in the country.

Open Access Original Research Article

Susceptibility of ABO and Genotype Blood Groups to Plasmodium Infections and Effect of Parasitaemia on Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, Haemoglobin and Packed Cell Volume

U. C. Ngenegbo, I. O. Onyali, O. O. Ikpeze, Nwankwo Joseph

South Asian Journal of Parasitology, Page 80-88

Aims: The study focused on “susceptibility of ABO and genotype blood-groups to malaria infection and effects of parasitaemia on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), haemoglobin (Hb), and packed cell volume (PCV).

Study Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Place and Duration of Study: Primary Health Centers (PHC) in Awka North, Awka South, Onitsha North, and Onitsha South Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Anambra State Nigeria, between January and June 2018.

Methodology: The 800 consenting individuals purposively selected for study were stratified under LGAs, gender, age-groups, ABO blood groups, and haemoglobin genotypes using clinic records. Blood samples were collected by venipuncture, and Giemsa stained thick and thin films were examined by microscopy for malaria parasites while ESR, Hb and PCV were determined by standard laboratory procedures. Data was subjected to descriptive statistics to obtain totals, percentages, means and standard error of mean. Error bars indicated significant differences (P<0.05) among variables compared with bar charts in MS Excel version 2010.

Results: Population examined was evenly distributed under LGAs and gender. A total of 436 out of 800 were malaria parasite positive (Overall prevalence=54.4%). About 70% of all infections was due to Plasmodium falciparum while P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax contributed 18.1, 14.9 and 0.5%, respectively (P>0.01). Malaria prevalence was higher in ONLGA (60%), males (59%), and children under 10 years (78.5%). Individuals of ABO Blood groups “O” and “A”, and genotype “HbAA” were more susceptible to malaria infection than their counterparts. Almost 75% of the infected individuals had elevated ESR and depressed Hb and PCV levels.

Conclusion: Dominant malaria parasite in the area was P. falciparum. Children and those of Blood groups ‘O’ and ‘A’, and genotype Hb-AA were more vulnerable to Plasmodium infections. Malaria-induced anaemia was linked to high ESR and low Hb and PCV levels.

The findings of this study may be helpful to modify the line of action plan to contain malaria in these localities.