The route of transmission is important in the epidemiology of protozoan and helminth parasites, with water, soil, and food being particularly important pathways of dissemination. Both the potential for producing large numbers of infective stages and their environmental robustness poses persistent threats to public and veterinary health. Increased demands made on natural resources increases the likelihood of encountering environments and consumables that are contaminated with parasites. The aim of the present work was to study the prevalence and some potential risk factors associated with intestinal parasitic infections linked to the soil that is found in and around water points, and to relate the data obtained with the infective forms of parasites found in fecal samples of preschool children in a randomly chosen urban quarter of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Six of the 20 soil samples collected in and around wells contained parasites in Elig Edzoa quarter, whereas there was an average of 2.4 of 12 soil samples in the other 5 quarters analyzed that harbored infective forms of the intestinal pathogens. The pathogens isolated, identified, and enumerated in the soil samples were Ascaris lumbricoides, Ancylostoma duodenale, Taenia spp., Trichuiris trichiura, Entamoeba spp., Enterobius vermicularis, and Hymenolepis nana. Analysis of fecal samples in children below 5 years of age revealed the presence of Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba hartmani, Taenia spp., Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium spp., Trichomonas sp., and Tricocephalus.
Vol. 80 • No. 2
Vol. 80 • No. 2