American Journal of Public Health Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-669X ISSN (Online): 2327-6703 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Public Health Research. 2019, 7(2), 48-57
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-7-2-3
Open AccessArticle

Prevalence of Parasites of Public Health Significance in Vegetables Sold in Jos Metropolis, Plateau State, Nigeria

PI Agbalaka.1, OR Ejinaka.1, DP Yakubu.2, UM Obeta.1, , RI Jwanse2 and A Dawet2

1Federal School of Medical Laboratory Science, Jos, PMB 2253, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

2University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: May 10, 2019

Cite this paper:
PI Agbalaka., OR Ejinaka., DP Yakubu., UM Obeta., RI Jwanse and A Dawet. Prevalence of Parasites of Public Health Significance in Vegetables Sold in Jos Metropolis, Plateau State, Nigeria. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2019; 7(2):48-57. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-7-2-3


BACKGROUND: Vegetables are vital for good health but can serve as a means of transmission of parasitic pathogens to man. JUSTIFICATION: There is increase consumption of vegetables due to general awareness of the health benefits. This research intends to explore suggestive management strategies and control in handling vegetables to reduce or if possible eliminate food borne parasites. AIM AND OBJECTIVE: The study was to determine parasitic contamination of fresh vegetables with objective to determine the prevalence of parasites of medical importance in vegetables sold in Jos market. METHODOLOGY: A total of 575 samples of fresh vegetables; Lettuce, Cabbage, Carrot, Spinach, Green Pepper, Cucumber, Beetroot, Tomatoes, Garden egg, and Green bean; were bought from sellers from May-June 2016 and examined for helminthes eggs, larva and cysts using wet mount and concentration techniques. RESULT: Hookworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichuria, Strongyloides stercoralis, cyst of Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lambia accounted for 7.3%, 8.1%, 4.8%, 58.1%, 9.7% and 12.1% respectively. Cucumber, carrot, cabbage beetroot, spinach, lettuce, green pepper, green beans, garden egg and tomatoes had 0%, 26.7%, 31.7%, 5.7%, 40%, 53.3%, 6.7%, 6.7%, 13.3% and 25% respectively with overall prevalence of 21.6% and strongyloides stercoralis was most prevalent and Trichuris trichiura least prevalent found in cabbage and tomatoes. Lettuce has the highest contamination rate 32(53.3%), followed by spinach 24(40%) while beetroot had the least (5.7%). CONCLUSION: Vegetables in Jos Metropolis are contaminated with parasites. There should be proper washing as they could serve as source of transmission of parasites when eaten raw or undercooked.

fruits vegetables parasites concentration techniques

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Duckworth RB. Farming systems for the production of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables Oxford,pergama press 1996; 48-62
[2]  Ozlem E. and Sener H.The contamination of various fruits and vegetables with Enterobius vermicularis, Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica cysts and Giardia lamblia cysts. Journal of Food Control, 2005;16: 557-560
[3]  Uneke CJ. Potential for Geohelminth parasite Transmission by raw fruits and vegetables in Nigeria: implication for a risk profile. Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, 2004;16, (1): 59-68
[4]  Skeketee RW. Nutrition and Parasitic Diseases. Journal of Nutrition: 2003; 133: 1661-1667.
[5]  Luca S, Ajugi I, and Umuh J. Helminthosis among primary school children. Journal of Parasitology 2000; 21: 109-116.
[6]  Okoronkwo M. Intestinal parasites associated with human and animal waste stabilization in Jos and Barkin Ladi area of plateau state, Ph.D Thesis1998; University of Jos, Jos Nigeria.
[7]  Cheesbrough M. Medical Laboratory Manual for Tropical Countries, 2nd Edition. 1992; University Press Cambridge pp. 206-207, part 1.
[8]  Wegayehu, T., Tsalla, T., Seifu, B. and Teklu, T. “Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among highland and lowland dwellers in Gamo area, South Ethiopia. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2013; 13 (1), 151-156.
[9]  Yakubu DP, Dawet A, Jiya V. Prevalence of cyst and ova of enteric parasites associated with Amaranthus Spp (Spinach) in Jos North Local Govt. Area, plateau states Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Parasitology; 2013; 34 (1): 131-155.
[10]  Kozan E, Sevimi FK, Kose M, Eser M, and Cicete, H. Examination of helminths contaminated waste waters used for agriculture purposes in Afyonkarahisar Turkey Parasitology Derg. 2007; 31 (3): 197-200.
[11]  Murray CJL and Lopenz AD. The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge (MA)1996; Harvard university press.
[12]  Al-Binali AM, Bello CS, El-Shewy K and S.E Abdulla. The prevalence of parasites in South Western, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med. J., 2006; 27: 613-616.
[13]  Idahosa OT. “Parasitic contamination of fresh vegetables sold in Jos Markets”, Global Journal of Medical Research; 2011; 11(1) 20-25.
[14]  Pires SM, Vieira AR, Perez E, Wong D, and Hald T. Attributing human foodborne illness to food sources and water in Latin American and the Caribean using data from outbreak investigation. International journal of food microbiology. 2012; 152(3): 129-138.
[15]  Avcioglu H, Soykan E, and Tarakci U. Control of helminths contamination of raw vegetables by washing vector – Borne zoonotic Disease. Journal of Food Microbiology 2011; 11(2), 189-191.
[16]  Adamu NB, Adamu JY, and Mohammed ID. Prevalence of helminthes parasites found on vegetables sold in Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria. Journal of Food Control. 2012; 25(1): 23-26.
[17]  Said DE. “Detection of parasites in commonly consumed raw vegetables,” Alexandria, Journal of Medicine, 2012; 48(3), 345-352.
[18]  Abougrain AK, Nahaisi MH, Madi NS, Saied MM and Ghenghesh KS. “Parasitological contamination in salad vegetables in Tripoli-Libya, Iran Food Control. 2010; 21(5), 760-762.
[19]  Hotez PJ, and Kamath A. Neglected Tropical Diseases in Sub – Saharn Africa: Review of their prevalence Distribution and Disease Burden. Neglected Tropical Disease. 2009;3(8): 412
[20]  Damen JG, Banwat E B, Egah DZ and Allanana JA. “Parasitic contamination of vegetables in Jos, Nigeria’’ Annals of African Medicine, 2007; 6(3), 115-118.
[21]  Al-Shawa RM, and Mwafy SN. “The enteroparasitic contamination of commercial vegetables in Gaza Governorates,” The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2007; 62-66.
[22]  Kłapeć T. and Borecka A. “Contamination of vegetables, fruits and soil with geohelmints eggs on organic farms in Poland,” Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2012(19): 3, pp. 421.
[23]  De silva NR, Brooker S, Hotez PJ, Montresor A, Engel D, and Salioli L. Soil transmitted helminthes infection ;updating the global picture. Trends Parasitology 2003;19: 547-551.
[24]  Samuel L, Stanley Jr, and Sharon L. Reed; microbes and microbial toxins; paradigms for microbial-mucosal interaction; V. Entamoeba Histolytica: Parasite-host interactions. American journal of physiology. 2001; 280: 1049-1054.
[25]  Ali SA, and Hill DR. Giardia Intestinales Curriulum Opi. Infections Disease. 2003; 16: 453-460.
[26]  Thein-Haing Thane-Toe, Than-Saw, Myat-Lay-Kyin. A control chemotherapeutic intervention trial on relationship between Ascaris lumbricoides infection and malnutrition in children. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1991; 85: 523-28.
[27]  Sarmukaddam SS, and Gerald SG. Validity of Assumptions while determining sample size. Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 2006.
[28]  Arora BA and Arora DR. Diagnostic Procedures Medical Parasitology 2nd ed. 2010 CBS Publishers and Distributors. New Delhi Banglore (India) 226-227.
[29]  Awodi NO, Nock IH, and Aken`Ova I. Prevalence and Public Health Significance of Parasites Cysts and Eggs on the Nigerian Currency. The Nigerian Journal of Parasitology. 2000; 22: 137-142.
[30]  Adeyeba OA and Essiet U. Prevalence of Helminth and Protozoal Infections among a Region Sect that Walk Barefooted in Isein Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Parasitology 2002; 5-94.
[31]  Oranusi US and Braide W. Microbiological Safety assessment of ready-to-eat food vended on the highway; Onitsha-Owerri, South East. Nigerian International Research journal of Microbiology. 2012; 3(2): 066-072.
[32]  Akhwale SW, Koji JL, Kaneko A, Eto H, Obonyo C, Bjorkman A, and Kobayakawe, T. Anaemia and malaria at different attitudes in the Western Highland of Kenya Journal of Tropical Science 2004; 91: 167-175.
[33]  Fernandez MC, Verghese S, Bhuraneswari R. “A Comparative study of the intestinal parasites prevalent among children living in rural and urban settings in and around Chennai” Journal of Communicable Diseases. 2002; 34(1) 35-39.
[34]  Kiswe NA and Allain, SRA. “Prevalence of Intestinal helminthes eggs among preschool children and its relation to soil contamination in Alexandria, “Journal of Medical Research Institute. 21(1): 181-192.
[35]  Ettehad GH, Sharif M, Ghorbani L, Ziaei H. Prevalence of intestinal parasites in vegetables consumed in Ardabil. Iran Food Control 2008; 19: 790-794.
[36]  Amoah P, Drechsel P, Abaidoo RC and Ntow WJ. Pesticide and Pathogen contamination of vegetables in Ghana’s urban markets, Arch Environ Con Tox. 2006; 50(1): 1-6.
[37]  Nyarango RM, Aloo PA, Kabiru EW and Nyanchongi BO. “The risk of pathogenic intestinal parasite infection in Kenya. East African Medical Journal 2008;8(5), 12-22.
[38]  Ezatpour B, Chegeni AS, Abdollahpour F, Aazami M, and Alirezaei M. “Prevalence of parasite contamination of raw vegetables in Khorramabad, Iran,” Food Control, 2013; 34, (1) 92-95.
[39]  Al-Megrm WAI. “Prevalence intestinal parasites in leafy vegetables in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia”, International Journal of Tropical Medicine;. 2010; 5, (2) 20-23.
[40]  Adanir R and Tasci F. “Prevalence of helminth eggs in raw vegetables consumed in Burdur, Turkey,” Food Control; 2013; 31(2), 482-484.
[41]  Erdogrul OR, Sener H. The Contamination of Various Fruits and Vegetables with Entamoeba histolytica cyst, Enterobius vermicularis, Ascaris Lumbricoides, eggs and Giardda Lamblia Cysts. Food Control 2005; 16: 557-560.
[42]  World Health Organization (WHO). Surface decontamination of fruits and vegetable eaten raw. Food safety programme document 1999; 4-30.
[43]  Meerburg BG, Vermeer HM. and Kijlstra A. Controlling risks of pathogens transmission by flies on organic pig farms Journal of pest science. 2007;36(3) 193-197.
[44]  Ul-Haq S., Maqbool A., Javad khan U., Yasmin G. and Sultana R. Parasitic contamination of vegetables in Mannuthy, kerala state, India. Journal of Parasitology 2014;7(4): 253-256.
[45]  Olyaei A. and Hajivandi L. Parasitological contamination of markets farms vegetables consumed in southern Iran. Journal of Parasitology. 2013; 10(3): 327-331
[46]  Omer EOM, Al-Ghamd MO, Fadlelmeula A, Alsubaie ASR.The effect of seasonal variationon the hygienic standard of beef carcasses in saudi Arabia. Journal of Medical sciences.2013; 4(6): 230-236.
[47]  Agbalaka, PI., Obeta MU and Daniel KR. Food-Safety regarding intestinal parasites on edible fruits and vegetables. The Diagnostics, 1(2): 13-24, May 2018.