Relative contribution of hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides to iron deficiency anemia among school pupils in Nasarawa area, Nigeria
Stool and blood specimens of 418 school pupils were examined for intestinal parasites and iron deficiency anemia respectively, using rapid field epidemiological techniques. 156 (37.3%) of the pupils were infected with different species of intestinal parasites. More than forty-six percent (46.8%) of the infected individuals were anemic. Hookworm (28.8%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (16.7%) were the dominant helminthes encountered. Cases of mixed infection with these dominant species and other intestinal parasites were also documented. The overall prevalence of anemia (38.8%) in this community was high. Pupils with cases of mixed infection (hookworm and A. lumbricoides) were more anemic than those with single infections of hookworm and A. lumbricoides. Both hookworm and A. lumbricoides proved to contribute significantly to anemia in the area. A linear relationship was observed between parasite infection, anemia and weight of the pupils, but this was not statistically significant.
Keywords: Hookworm; Ascaris; anemia; school pupils; Nigeria
International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences Vol. 2 (3) 2006: pp 205-209