Public health implications of cockroaches within households in Calabar municipality, Cross River State, Nigeria


Cletus I. Iboh1, Raymond O. Ajang , Hannah E. Etta and Johashaphat T. Abraham

This study was carried out between May 2013 and April 2014 to investigate the different parasites harbored and transmitted by cockroaches within households in Calabar Municipality, Nigeria, in order to initiate integrated eradication programme. Four hundred and thirty (430) cockroaches from toilets, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms were trapped using sterile hand gloves from different households within Calabar municipality between 7p.m. and 9p.m. Life cockroaches were placed in perforated sterile plastic vials and transported to the Biology Laboratory of Cross River University of Technology, Calabar for parasitological studies. Each identified cockroach was placed in a test tube containing 5ml of normal saline solution and shaken thoroughly for 5 minutes to detach any parasite or its stages of development from the body surface of the cockroach. The fluid was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 10 minutes, and the deposit examined under a binocular microscope in search of parasites. Three hundred and forty-eight (348) parasites were recovered and identified as Ancylostoma duodenales larvae, Ascaris lumbricoides ova, Enterobius vermicularis ova and larvae, Strongyloides stercoralis ova and larvae, Entamoeba histolytica cysts and Fusarium species. This study revealed that cockroaches are reservoirs and mechanical transmitters of human intestinal parasites, and therefore require integrated control. We also advocate for investigation into the bacteriological profile of Cockroaches within houses in the study area


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