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Prevalence of intestinal nematode infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

The prevalence of intestinal nematode infection was studied among 350 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, over a period of 4 months, from November 2007 to February 2008. Macroscopic, wet preparation and the 2 methods of concentration, i.e, brine (floatation) and formol-ether (sedimentation) concentration methods were used to examine the stool for ova and the larvae of intestinal parasites. Of the 350 samples examined, 152 (43.4%) had parasites. A total of five parasites species were identified. Of the five (5) parasite species observed in the study, Hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides had the highest prevalence of 35.8% (n=62) and 55.5% (n=96) respectively. This was followed by Enterobius vermicularis 6(3.5%), Trichuris trichuira 5(2.9%) and Strongyloides stercoralis had 4(2.3%) respectively. Also, an overall prevalence of co-infection was 13.8%, of which co-infection of A. lumbricoides + Hookwoorm was most predominant 18(85.7%). This was followed by A. lumbricoides +T. trichuria 2(9.5%) and Hookworm + Trichuris trichuria 1(4.8%). No coinfection of A. lumbricoides + Hookworm + T. trichuria and Enterobius vermicularis with any other parasites was found. However, the overall prevalence of the parasitic infection among pregnant women was 152(43.4%). The prevalence was significantly higher in 2nd trimester (p<0.05); than other trimester of the pregnancy. Comparing the three methods used the concentration methods were more sensitive when carried out on negative stool samples while comparing the concentration methods formol-ether proves more sensitive to Brine floatation method. Though, there was not much difference only that the density and quantity of the parasite was detected. The prevalence of intestinal nematode with age shows no significant difference (p>0.05), but the prevalence with occupation and with pregnant women with little children shows a significant difference (p<0.05). There was a higher prevalence of parasitic infections in this study. Routine examinations of stool of pregnant women for parasite and health education on simple hygiene are recommended to all antenatal clinics to prevent parasitic complications and unexplained loss of pregnancy.

Author(s): Alli JA, Okonko IO, Kolade AF, Nwanze JC, Dada VK, Ogundele M

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