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Journal Of Tropical Biosciences

Year: 2015|   Volume No: 10|   ISSN: 0795-3089|   Page No: 75


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Title:  PARASITIC CONTAMINATION OF COMMONLY CONSUMED FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES SOLD IN OPEN-AIR MARKETS IN ZARIA METROPOLIS, NIGERIA

1-LAWAL, S.B*., 1-WADA, Y., AND 2-IFRAIMU, D.

 

 1-BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, ZARIA, NIGERIA

2-DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was designed to determine the parasitic contamination of commonly consumed fresh fruits and vegetables sold in open-air markets in Zaria metropolis, Nigeria. A total of 360 samples of fruits and vegetables were purchased from 3 open-air markets in the city. They were washed with distilled water and the eluent was filtered and centrifuged to concentrate the parasitic stages. The sediments were examined by iodine and modified Ziehl-Neilsen stained smears. Intestinal parasites were detected in 127 samples (35.27%). The most prevalent parasite detected was Cryptosporidium spp oocysts and the highest infestation among fruits was on Solanum lycopersicum (43.33%) while in vegetables it was on Lactuva sativa (50.00%). Significant difference existed on the degree of infestation among the parasites. Usually, these markets are patronized by a large number of people. It is therefore suggested that fruits and vegetables are thoroughly washed before for public consumption in order to prevent their transmission and infection.

SUMMARY:

In conclusion, this study showed that there is high contamination of fruits and vegetable in open-air markets in Zaria. It also highlights the potential that commonly consumed fruits and vegetables serving as sources of infection with pathogens is high. This presents a risk of intestinal parasites infection to the human population of affected communities since the habit of eating raw vegetables such as Lactuva sativa (Cabbage) and Solanum lycopersicum is a common practice. Washing of fruits and vegetables with just water is not adequate to rid them of pathogens. Proper handling of wares by consumers and vendors should also be carried out to avoid infection. It is recommended that open-air markets should be well-equipped with modern amenities such as toilets, running tap water and good drainage to ensure good sanitary system in our markets.

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