Cockroaches as Vectors of Parasites of Medical Importance; Reports from Six states in Nigeria
Keywords:Cockroaches, Parasites, E. coli, , Ascaris lumbricoides, parasites
Background: Cockroaches are not associated with diseases as noted with mosquitoes and fleas (by direct transmission); however, they harbour pathogens (typically those causing gastroenteritis) which are indiscriminately deposited on foods and equipment as the cockroaches comes in contact with them.
Methods: This report reveals an association of cockroaches with 13 bacteria species, 7 fungal species and 18 soil transmitted helminths all of which are medically important and have been implicated in many gastro-intestinal disorders. Entamoeba species, Balantidium coli, hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides have been reported to cause chronic diarrhea, liver complications and stunted growth in the affected people. Pathogen were independently isolated from the alimentary canal and body surface of cockroaches collected from toilets, residential houses, hostels, kitchens, living rooms, wardrobes and health facilities at six different states in Nigeria.
Results: This affirms that cockroaches constitute a serious public health threat in Nigeria. This study emphasizes the need to raise awareness on safeguarding food sources from being contaminated by cockroaches, as it may lead to the mechanical transmission of parasite-related morbidities.
Conclusion: Proper personal hygiene and environmental sanitation is strongly recommended since cockroaches only thrive in filthy environments. Periodic fumigation of hospitals and hostels is also imperative to reduce risks of nosocomial infections.
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