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Prevalence of enteropathogens and their association with diarrhea among children of food vendors in Uyo, Nigeria

A Young Itah
KN Opara
IA Atting
NI Udoidung


A survey of enteropathogens (bacteria-parasite co-infections) was carried out among 370 children of food vendors in Uyo, Nigeria. Faecal samples (311 formed and 59 diarrhoeic stools) were screened for intestinal helminths using standard parasitological procedures. The prevalence of the parasites encountered was: Hookworm (49.5%); Ascaris lumbricoides (42.8%) Trichuris trichiura (24.9%); Strongyloides stercoralis (2.7%); Entamoeba histolytica (10.0%) and Giardia lamblia (7.8%). Bacteriological analyses of the diarrhoeic stolls revealed the following bacterial isolates: Campylobacter species, Shigella species, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Yersinia enterocolitica, Clostridium species, Aeromonas hydrophila and Vibrio species. A strong association between the bacterial isolates and protozoan parasites (Entamoeba histolytica and Giardian lamblia) in diarrhoeic stools was evident. There was no significant (X2 = 0.44; P > 0.05) difference between infection and sex. All infections declined gradually with age but it was not statistically significant (X2 = 6.17; P > 0.001). A significant relationship existed between infection and type of school attended by the children (X2 = 19.65; P < 0.05), source of water supply (X2 = 13.59; P < 0.05) and type of toilet facility used (X2 = 68.83; P < 0.01). Since children are veritable sources of food contamination, the enforcement of hygienic practices therefore becomes imperative.

Keywords: parasites, bacteria, children, food vendors, diarrhea, Nigeria

Mary Slessor Journal of Medicine Vol. 5(1), 2005: 11-21

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eISSN: 1119-409X
print ISSN: 1119-409X