HIGH PREVALENCE OF HOOKWORM INFECTION AND APPARENT ABSENCE OF ASCARIS LUMBRICOIDES: A CASE STUDY AT THE KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL IN GHANAAbstract
Background: Parasitic helminth infection is one of the major risk factors underlying the high rates of anaemia and malnutrition in many third world countries due to the poor socio-economic and environmental conditions of the people and these play a very significant role in their transmission.
Method: 2000 stool specimens collected between May and October 2008 at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana were screened using the Kato-Katz and formol-ether concentration methods for the presence of intestinal helminthes. Prior to sample collection, histories of any antihelmentic drug usage in the last three months preceding this study were collected. Hookworm positive stool specimens were further cultured by the modified Harada-Mori test-tube technique for the identification of the hookworm filariform larvae.
Results: Hookworm (Necator americanus) was the most prevalent helminth parasite (2.9%) found in the study. Other parasitic helminthes detected were Dicrocoelium dendriticum (2.1%), Strongyloides stercoralis (2.1%), Schistosoma mansoni (1.8 %), Hymenolepis nana, (1.4%) Taenia species (0.6%) and Trichuris trichuria (0.1%). S. mansoni infection was however high among patients aged between 1 to 15 years. Ascaris lumbricoides was not detected in any of the specimens examined.
Conclusion: In this study therefore, gender and dewormer usage did not play any significant role (p> 0.05) in the rate and level of helminth infection. Further studies to assess the quality and efficacy of the various types of antihelmentic drugs on the Ghanaian market and the factors contributing to absence of A. lumbricoides must be considered.
Sammy C. K. Tay , Stephen Y. Gbedema* and Thomas K. Gyampomah
Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
28 January, 2011
01 March, 2011
28 April, 2011
01 May, 2011