Prevalence and risk factors for zoonotic helminth infection among humans and animals - Jos, Nigeria, 2005-2009

  • Pius Stephen Ekong
  • Raymond Juryit
  • Ndahi Mwapu Dika
  • Patrick Nguku
  • Monica Musenero


Background: Zoonotic infections are among the most common on earth and are responsible for over 60% of human infectious diseases, some of which are caused by helminth parasites. Infection may result from ingestion of infective stage of worms with food, contaminated soil; skin penetration or direct animal contact. This study estimates the prevalence of zoonotic helminth infections (ZHI) among animals and humans in Jos and identifies associated risk factors. Methods: We reviewed laboratory records from five hospitals, one veterinary clinic and meat inspection record at abattoir in Jos from 2005 - 2009. Prevalence was defined as the observed frequency of cases of zoonotic helminth in the sampled population within the study period. Odd ratio analysis was used to identify factors associated with ZHI. Results: Of 6689 humans tested, 524 (7.8%) were positive. Observed ZHI are: Ascaris species (4.5%), Taeniasis-Cysticercosis (1.5%), Schistosoma species (1.1%), Strongyloidosis (0.09%). Among animals, 3520 (18.1%) of 19508 tested/observed were positive; including Fasciola species (12.7%), Taeniasis-Cysticercosis (5.0%), Strongyloidosis (0.4%), Ascaris species (0.04%). The risk of infection was higher among humans aged 6-19 (OR: 3.2; 95% CI: 2.0-5.2) and 20-60 (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.7-3.9). Peri-urban dwellers are at higher risk (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.3-1.9); and so are farmers. Conclusion: The prevalence of zoonotic helminth infection is high among humans and animals in Jos. Risk of infection are higher among human age 6-60, peri-urban dwellers and farmers. This calls for the formulation of workable collaboration between human and veterinary medical disciplines for better control of zoonotic helminth infections.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:6

Author Biographies

Pius Stephen Ekong

Epidemiology Section, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Nigeria

Raymond Juryit
Plateau State Ministry of Health, Jos, Nigeria
Ndahi Mwapu Dika
Federal Department of Livestock and Pest Control Services, Abuja, Nigeria
Patrick Nguku
Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Abuja, Nigeria
Monica Musenero
African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688