Prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica in stool specimens at Muhondo Health Center, Rwanda
Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite causing amebiasis. It occurs usually in the large intestine and causes internal inflammation as its name means (histo = tissue, lytic = destroying). Between 40 and 50 million people are infected worldwide, mostly in tropical countries, in areas of poor sanitation. The infection occurs by ingestion of mature cyst in fecally contaminated food, water or hands. The disease shows different symptoms including vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, watery and bloody diarrhea. While the infection becomes extra intestinal, it may cause abscess in other organs such as liver, kidney, brain and lungs.
The present study was carried out to determine the prevalence of E. histolytica in stool specimens at Muhondo Health Center. A total of 103 fecal specimens were collected over a period of three months. Out of 103 specimens, only 26 (25.2%) were positive for E. histolytica. Out of the 26 specimens positive for E. histolytica, 17 (16.5%) and 9 (8.7%) were from males and females respectively. Furthermore, of the 26 Specimens positive for E. histolytica, 15 (14.6%) and 11 (10.7%) were from people ≤ 15 and >15 years of age respectively. Entamoeba histolytica was more prevalent 26 (25.2%) than other parasites including Giardia with 15 (14.6%), Ascaris sp with 5 (4.9%), Trichomonas intestinalis with 16 (15.5%) and Entamoeba coli with 1 (1%). In order to reduce Entamoeba histolytica contamination and infections, the following recommendations were pointed out: (i) improving personal hygiene (washing hand before eating and after using latrines) ; (ii) avoiding fecal contamination of food, water, and utensils ; and (iii) boiling drinking water before consumption.
Keywords: Parasites, Prevalence, Entamoeba histolytica, amebiasis, Stool specimens, Muhondo Health Center