Incidence of geohelminths on fruits and vegetable farms in Owena, Ondo State, south-west, Nigeria
Geohelminths are soil-transmitted parasitic nematodes which present a potential public health hazard in Nigeria. The present study examined soil samples for the incidence of geohelminths on fruits and vegetable farms in Owena Community. Two hundred (200) soil samples were collected from five vegetable and fruits farms at Owena and examined for the presence of geohelminths eggs and larvae using Modified Cobbs decanting and sieving method. Various activities that could enhance parasite transmission in the environment were investigated using structured questionnaire. The result showed that 122 (61%) of the soil samples had egg and/or larvae of the following parasites, hookworms 139 (56%), Ascaris lumbricoides 76 (30%), Strongyloide sstercoralis 27 (11%) and Trichiuris trichiura 7 (3%). Nematode eggs were found in 90% Ojuelegba soil samples, 80% Igbo Epo soil samples, 55% Ipinlerere soil samples, 45% St. Matthew Primary School soil samples and 30% Oke Odo soil samples. In relation to soil type, Prevalence was significantly higher in loamy soil (50%) compare to sandy soil (11%) (p<0.005). This study revealed the potential health implication of consuming vegetables and fruits grown on parasite-contaminated environment. Thus, high level of personal hygiene should be encouraged in this community.
Keywords: Parasitic nematodes; geohelminths; parasitic-contaminated environment; vegetables; fruits