The epidemiological implications of cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) in the dissemination of human diseases in Owerri, south-east, Nigeria
The human pathogens and its burdens on cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) was studied in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria between November, 2009 and September, 2010. A total of 200 cockroaches were caught using different methods and examined using standard parasitological as well as bacteriological techniques. Overall, 14 parasites were recovered which included helminthes, protozoa and acanthocephalans. One hundred and thirty (65.0%) of 200 cockroaches examined were positive with at least one parasite. Moniliformis moniliformis (10.5%) was the most frequently encountered while Diplogaster sp (0.5%) was the least. Infection was significantly higher in cockroaches caught in the toilets and refuse dumps than other sources (p<0.05). Eight (8) bacterial isolates most of which are opportunistic enteric pathogens were recovered from the cockroaches. These were; Escherichia coli, Micrococcus spp, Staphylococcus spp, and Citrobacter spp. Their occurrence differed in various portions of the gut. The zoonotic and public health implications of these pathogens are discussed.
Keywords: zoonosis, mechanical transmission, public health, Owerri.