Evaluation of vegetables grown in dry mountainous regions for soil transmitted helminths contamination
Brazilian Journal of Biology
Infection caused by geo-helminth parasites are called geohelminthiasis are one of the global health problems. Vegetables eaten raw is the principal source of transmission of geo-helminth parasites. Pakistani people believe that eating raw vegetables are a significant source to get important vitamins and minerals. Based on the high incidence of pathogenic parasites and cultivating different vegetable types in the study areas, we conducted this study to evaluate the geo-helminth contamination of
... aw vegetables in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. This is a descriptive study comprised, 1942 samples of 25 various types of vegetables. The samples were examined in physiological saline solution using sedimentation and centrifugation methods. The findings were analyzed by Graph-Pad version 5. P value less than 0.05 (95% CI) was considered significant. Results showed that 16.5% (n=322) of all vegetables were contaminated with one or more type of geo-helminth parasites. Garlic was the highest (35%) and cauliflower the lowest (4%) contaminated samples respectively. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common geo-helminth found followed by hook worm species while Trichuris trichura was the least in all the vegetable samples. Leafy vegetables were highly contaminated 25.3% than vegetables with root parts 21.2% and fruity 9.09%. More than half of the contaminated vegetables were contaminated with single species of geo-helminth (P<0.05) while less than half with multiple types of geo-helminth contamination. Ninety two vegetables samples were contaminated with 2 species of parasites (P<0.05) and 45 with 3 (P>0.05) species of geo-helminth parasites. Education level of vendors and means of display were not significantly associated while types of vegetable used were significantly associated with the prevalence of parasites. The findings of this study provide evidence that consumption of raw vegetable has a high risk of acquiring geo-helminth infections. The authors believe that preventing the human to enter to the vegetable farmland for defecation, avoiding the irrigation of agricultural fields via night soil, and educating the people on proper washing and cooking of vegetables may be useful in reducing parasitic infections.