Contamination of fruits and vegetables sold in Abidjan by human intestinal parasites: Preliminary study


Gonat Serge Pacome Dou*, Akissi Mien Man Agar Kouame, Nâ??da Angbeletchi David Aka, Guy Landry Adjo, Marietou Tamboura, Olivia Nassoue, Seraphin Kouadio and Koffi Daho Adoubryn

Eating fruit and vegetables is highly recommended for good health. However, they can be a source of transmission of human parasites. The aim of this study was to contribute to our knowledge of the safety of raw fruit and vegetables sold in Abidjan. A cross-sectional study was conducted from April to June 2022, in the autonomous district of Abidjan, to search for human intestinal parasites in 5 fruits and vegetables: Lettuce, parsley, green onion, cabbage and tomato. Parasitological research consisted of direct examination of the rinsing water from the samples, combined with stained smears using the modified Zielh-Neelsen technique. The prevalence of parasitic infestation was 39.2%. Lettuce was the most infested vegetable (77.9%), followed by green onion (75.3%). Helminths were the predominant parasites, led by hookworms (76.8%). Protozoa included E. nana and E. coli. Samples purchased at production sites were more infested than at markets (p=0.000). This study reveals a high rate of parasitic infestation of fruit and vegetables in Abidjan. As a result, the population is exposed to the risk of contamination. The authorities must therefore take measures to protect traders and consumers.

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