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PUBLICATION, JANUARY, 2014. The Bioscientist. Vol. 2

The Bioscientist  Vol. 2 (1): 1-7, January 2014.
Available online at http://www.bioscientistjournal.com
Amaechi et al., 2014. Page 1

Prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica among Primary School children in Ukwa West
Local Government Area, Abia State, South East, Nigeria.

*Amaechi, E.C., Ohaeri, C.C., Ukpai, O.M., Nwachukwu, P.C., Ukoha, U.K.
1Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
2Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Michael Okpara University of
Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria

*Corresponding author’s e-mail: ebubeamechi@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT (Download PDF )

Amoebiasis is a cosmopolitan infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica and ranks third
among parasitic infections that lead to death especially in children. Epidemiological data in
most rural communities about this infection is scanty. Three hundred (300) children aged 0-
14 years were sampled for E. histolytica infection in five rural communities in Ukwa West
Local Government Area, Abia State, South East Nigeria. The stool samples were examined
for cysts of E. histolytica using saline and iodine preparations. The prevalence rate of 16.0 %
was recorded. The prevalence by sex showed a higher infection rate in males (18.7 %) than
females (13.3 %) which was significantly different (X2, p<0.05). This showed an association
between sex and the prevalence of E. histolytica. There was also a slight association observed
among the different age groups. The highest prevalence of 21.7 % was recorded in children
from Umuelechi community, although there was no significant difference among the
communities (X2, p>0.05). There is therefore an urgent need for improved sanitation,
personal hygiene and a proper deworming scheme amongst school children in the study areas
to alleviate the scourge.

Keywords: Entamoeba histolytica, Prevalence, Children, rural communities, Abia State.

© 2013. Journal of Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University,

P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Nigeria.

email: thebioscientist@unizik.edu.ng

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