Selected food-borne parasites associated with cockroaches and houseflies in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt
Cockroaches and houseflies are serious threat to public health owing to their ability to mechanically transmit human intestinal parasites. The study investigated the role of these insects in transmission of gastrointestinal parasites Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. A total of 125 houseflies and 112 cockroaches were caught and screened for possible intestinal parasites. Each housefly and cockroach were dipped into test tube containing 10 ml of normal saline for 5 minutes, the insects later transferred to another test tube with 70% alcohol for preservation. The supernatant were decanted and the residue viewed under microscope for parasites. Data were analysis with analysis of variance, measures of central tendency and least square difference. Results revealed that 32 (25.6%) of the 125 houseflies and 35 (31.3%) of the 112 cockroaches screened harboured parasites of medical importance. Twenty-one (35.0%) of the 60 houseflies caught from eatery area, 8 (20.0%) of the 40 from female hostels and 3 (12%) of the 25 flies from male hostels harboured parasites. Also, 23 (44.2%) of the 52 cockroaches caught from eatery area, 7 (23.3%) of the 30 from female hostels and 5 (16.7%) of the 30 from male hostels harboured parasites. Of these, 20 (62.5%) were protozoa and 12 (37.5%) were helminthes from the houseflies while 19 (54.3%) were protozoa and 16 (45.7%) were helminthes from the cockroaches. The protozoa that were identified include; cysts of Balantidium coli, cysts of Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba Histolytica and Endolimax nana. Also, helminthes include; ova of Ascaris lumbricoides, ova of Enterobius vermicularis and ova of Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in parasite burden at the eatery and the hostels. There was also a significant difference (p<0.05) in protozoa and helminthes burden from the flies and roaches.
Keywords: Synanthropic; dissemination; transmit; houseflies; cockroaches