Epidemiological and biochemical studies of human lymphatic filariasis and associated parasitoses in Oguta, South-Eastern, Nigeria


Okey A. Ojiako* and G. O. C. Onyeze

Possible organ infections associated with human filariasis, helminthiasis and malaria in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, South-Eastern Nigeria were investigated. Blood, urine and stool samples were collected in appropriate containers from 200 male and female respondents aged 31 – 85 years. Parasitological studies were carried out on blood samples for malaria and/or microfilariae parasites while stool samples were tested for the presence of some intestinal parasites. The study showed a prevalence of intestinal protozoa (Entamoeba histolytica), Wuchereria bancrofti, the intestinal helminthes Ascaris lumbricoides and Hookworms. Biochemical parameters of liver integrity were also studied across the various infection cohorts among the respondents. Results obtained show that these parasitic infections depressed the hematological parameters relative to ‘normal’ respondents. Comparative biochemical analyses showed significant (p < 0.05) differences in some liver function parameters obtained for infected respondents relative to those not infected. There was also a positive correlation between age brackets with highest filarial infection (with no malarial co infection) and age groups with elevated markers of liver dysfunction. This study can be of immense diagnostic value in the clinical management of the filariases especially in malaria-endemic and resource-poor areas.

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