Genetic-based investigation of three prevalent waterborne protozoa parasites in drinking water sources in Daloa district in Côte d’Ivoire

  • M Koffi
  • J Anoh
  • M N’Djetchi
  • T Konan
  • Y Djè
Keywords: water supply, waterborne parasites, E. histolytica, C. parvum, p G. intestinalis


Objective: Waterborne gastrointestinal protozoa pathogens are frequently associated with morbidity and mortality, in children under five years but these protozoa pathogens are scarcely investigated in quality control of drinking water. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of waterborne protozoa such as Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia intestinalis, and Entamoeba histolytica in various natural water sources from Daloa city using genetic markers.
Methodology and results: A total of 34 water source samples comprising 2 from springs, 5 from hydraulic pumps, and 27 from wells were investigated. Water stored in containers was also analyzed and a survey was conducted on households’ water consumption habits. Species specific genetic markers were used to detect the presence of C. parvum, G.intestinalis, and E. histolytica. Out of the 34 sources surveyed, 14(41.2%) were infected with at least one of the 3 protozoa investigated. Twenty one (61.76%) out of the 34 Containers analyzed were found contaminated with at least one of the 3 parasites. About 15.2% of households surveyed used well water for drinking though it was shown that 48.14% of these wells are contaminated with waterborne protozoa. The detection of protozoa pathogen in some home containers and not in natural sources where the containers were filled, suggested that contamination may originate from containers through human actions. Low-income households should be aware of the risk of drinking water from wells and the need to boil or treated drinking water to avoid diarrheal diseases related thereto.
Conclusion and applications: This study shows that the spring natural water used by people does not contain parasites unlike almost wells water that have real health risks if no treatment is performed before consumption. Practice good personal hygiene regarding water's storage containers and hand washing could reduce the risk of propagation of parasitic protozoa.

Keywords: water supply; waterborne parasites; E. histolytica; C. parvum;p G. intestinalis.