Publisher: Bachudo Science Co. Ltd

Gastrointestinal Parasites Associated With The Stools of Bottle- Fed Babies In Benin City, Nigeria

M. O. Okungbowa, F. I. Okungbowa
KEYWORDS: Gastrointestinal parasites, bottle- feeding, babies, Nigeria

ABSTRACT:

A study was carried out to determine the gut parasites commonly associated with bottle-fed children in Benin City. Stool samples (n=840) were collected from bottle· fed babies aged 0- 2 years for a period of twelve months (January to December). A total of 593 (70 6%) of the subjects were symptomatic newly admitted children in two public hospitals. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of faecal samples by conventional methods revealed six parasites with varying prevalences. The parasites were · Ascaris lumbncoides (18%), Trichuris trichiura (13.3%), Ancylostoma duodena/a (4.8%), Strongyloides stercoralis (1.9%), Entamoeba histolytica (0.8%) and Giardia lamblia (06%). The highest prevalence (17.8%) was observed in babies aged 6-11 months, while the lowest (2. 1 %) was found in 0-5 months old. Some of the macroscopic appearances of the stool samples seemed to be related to the presence of certain parasites Most of the stools had low egg counts (0-200 eggs/g stool) for A lumbricoides, T. trichiura and A. duodenale. Four percent of the samples had high egg count (over 400 eggs/g stool) for A lumbricoides. The infection rate in male babies was higher than in females (22.8% and 16.6%, respectively). Sex distribution of parasites in symptomatic versus asymptomatic babies did not follow a definite pattern. This study reveals a high prevalence o.f gastrointestinal parasites in bottle-fed children in Benin City. The 'Baby friendly' practice which encourages sole breast-feeding from 0-1


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