Control of parasitic infections among workers and inmates in a Nigerian zoo

  • DO Akinboye
  • AA Ogunfetimi
  • O Fawole
  • O Agbolade
  • OO Ayinde
  • NOS Atulomah
  • AM Amosu
  • R Livingstone

Abstract

This study was carried out to determine the prevalence and identify the species of intestinal parasitic infections among zoological garden workers and inmates (animals and birds), in the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden. Faecal samples were collected from all the animals, birds and zoo-keepers of the zoological garden, 5 days after and 2 days before another periodic routine deworming session of the animals. The faecal samples were examined, using normal saline, iodine, and brine
concentration techniques, to detect the presence of parasites. larvae or ova. The zoo-workers were given educational, behavioural and intervention techniques for the control of parasitic diseases, after the examination of stool samples. No intestinal parasites were detected in the stool samples collected 5 days after the routine deworming exercise of the zoo inmates. The ova of A. lumbricoides, hookworms, T. trichiura, E. histolytica and Giardia cysts were found in stool samples of zoo workers, while
S. stacoralis, A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura were found in zoo animals, in  stool samples collected 2 days before the following deworming exercise, (which was three months after the deworming exercise- three months after the first samples were collected). The prevalence of infection among the zoo workers was 81.8 %. T. trichiura was the most prevalent, accounting for
33.3% while A. lumbricoides, hookworms, Entamoeba and Giardia were 11.1%, 22.2%, 22.2% and 11.1% respectively.Among the zoo animal population, the overall prevalence of infection was 61.5%. Strongyloides was the most prevalent, accounting for 68.75% of the total infection while Trichuris and Ascaris had a prevalence of 25.0% and 6.25% respectively. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of infection among humans and zoo animals (p<0.05). The results obtained from this
study indicated that a high percentage of seemingly healthy zookeepers and animals harboured various species of parasites, which were zoonotic.
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