Domiciliary Cockroaches as Carriers of Human Intestinal Parasites in Lagos Metropolis, Southwest Nigeria: Implications for Public Health

  • Adedotun A Adenusi Medical Parasitology Unit, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Mary I Akinyemi Statistics Unit, Department of Mathematics, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Dele Akinsanya Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
Keywords: Cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, Blattella germanica, Intestinal parasites, Lagos


Background: Domiciliary cockroaches are obnoxious pests of significant medical importance. We investigated the prevalence of human intestinal parasites in cockroaches and its attendant public health importance.Methods: Overall, 749 cockroaches (Periplaneta americana, 509, Blattella germanica, 240) caught by trapping from 120 households comprising 3 different housing types in Somolu, Lagos metropolis, southwest Nigeria, in 2015 were screened for human intestinal parasites using standard parasitological techniques.Results: The prevalence of human intestinal parasites in cockroaches was 96.4%. There was no statistically signifi­cant difference (P> 0.05) in parasite prevalences between P. americana (95.7%) and B. germanica (97.9%). Parasite species identified and their prevalence were as follows: Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (44.1%), E. coli (37.8%), Gi­ardia lamblia (18.7%), Cryptosporidium sp. (13.8%), Ascaris lumbricoides (61.3%), Trichuris trichiura (55.8%), hookworms (11.6%), Strongyloides stercoralis (11.7%), Taenia/Echinococcus spp. (10.5%), Enterobius vermicularis (17.2%) and Hymenolepis nana (11.6%). Parasite prevalence and burdens varied with housing type; the prevalence was significantly higher statistically (P< 0.05) in cockroaches from low-cost bungalow, LCB (100%) and low-cost, 2-storey, LC2-S (100%) houses than in medium-cost flats, MCF (81.3%). Parasite burdens were also significantly higher statistically (P< 0.05) in cockroaches from LCB or LC2-S than in cockroaches from MCF. Parasite preva­lences between cockroach gut and body surfaces were not statistically significant (P> 0.05) but mean parasite bur­dens in gut were significantly higher statistically (P< 0.05) than on body surfaces.Conclusion: Cockroaches types carry transmissive stages of human intestinal parasites and may act as reservoirs and potential mechanical vectors for disease transmission.


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How to Cite
Adenusi AA, Akinyemi MI, Akinsanya D. Domiciliary Cockroaches as Carriers of Human Intestinal Parasites in Lagos Metropolis, Southwest Nigeria: Implications for Public Health. jad. 12(2):141-5.
Original Article