Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children

The Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 10 Years In Obeleagu Umana Village In Enugu State.

The incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools among children in Obeleagu Umana community between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Enugu state Viz: Umuonyi,  Umuanekeuba and Umudim was analysed by the direct smear and concentration methods of faecal examination. The aim of this work is to determine the incidence of Ascaris lubricoides in stool among children in Obeleagu Umana community between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Enugu State.  15 stool samples were collected and examined, and it was observed that the infestation was highest in stools collected from Umuonyi, followed by Umuanekeuba, and lastly by Umudim, Also the Ascaris infection was found to be more among children within the age limit of 5 – 7 years, whereas there was a reduction within the age limit of 8 – 10 years. The high Ascaris infection in Enugu metropolis among children was due to poor hygiene and poor sanitary conditions.




It is important to know the different distribution of helminintes (worms) infection based on the study of ecological, geographical and epidemiological condition.

Ascarasis is among the most common infections occurring through out the whole world. This infections has been associated with low standard of sanitation i.e poor sanitation (Cheesbrough, 1998). Ascaris lumbricoides (Large intestinal round worm) has a world wide distribution. It is particularly common in the tropics and subtropics in places where environmental sanitation is inadequate and untreaed human faeces are used as fertilizer (night – soil). In 1995, WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that there were 250 million persons infected with A. lumbricoides died from ascariasis. Again in 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were 1,450 million persons infected with Ascaris lumbricoides and annually, 60,000  dying from ascariasis. Ascariasis was probably the first of all parasitism to the recognized by man. The parasite is large and very common. The Greek called it by the name it has today, that is “intestinal worm”, uneducated people in North America less than a century ago knew Ascaris and referred to them as pale worms, often seen in children faeces as “guardian angels”. A researcher has shown that the helminth has a world wide distribution throughout the topics and the alarming statistical fact that world infection rate was 107%, Ogumba, E.O. (2004) investigating children in Ibadan found the incidence of Ascaris, Hookworm, Trichuris to range from 40%  to 110% at the end of dry season. There are an estimated 4 million people infected in the USA, with the disease being highest among children and there are about 2 cases of  intestinal obstruction caused by ascariasis, 3% of the cases of obstruction die (Werner, D. et al, 1993). The larver of Ascaris  lumbricoides causes pneumonia, while in lungs symptomatology, a condition related to worm density, when present in small numbers in the intestine, they produce no apparent disturbance. But at higher density, obstruction and pari possible followed by gut perforation. The worms may migrate into unusual place like the bile, liver and stomach which may result to death of the host.


Ascaris has created problems in tropical African countries, children suffer great threat resulting from ascarisis. It causes problems such as diarrhea, anaemia, loss of weight, weakness, intestinal obstruction in children, vomiting, abdominal pain, impairment of protein digestion and absorption etc and some pathological effects that could lead to death.

1.3       AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of this project is to determine the incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools among children between the ages of 5 – 10 years in Obeleagu Umana Community in Enugu State.

  1. To determine the rate of occurance of ascariasis in children.
  2. To isolate the different species of Ascaris in children.


The study of ascariasis intestinal helminthiasis has brought about the best strategies in preventing the wide spread of intestinal parasitic worm. Ascaris lumbricoides) in children especially in tropical/rural areas and also the control measures including the available drugs and role of sanitation.


This project work on “incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stool among children between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Obeleagu Umuana village in Enugu State “was limited only to three (3) villages in Obeleagu Umana due to time and financial factors.



Ascaris  lumbricoides was probably first mentioned by Ransay (1934), after working in twelve localities in Northern Nigria and the incidence was 6.1%. According to chandler and Read (1954), Ascaris  lumbricoides is a large nematodes parasite that inihibits the human small intestine where it feeds on digested foods. It is one of the most common nematodes infections of mankinds, involving about two-thrid (2/3) of the world’s population. Ascaris lumbricoides does not attack the tissue but may occur in such large numbers that it blocks the gut. The adult worms commonly bites the mucous membrances with its lips suck blood and tissue juices. Ascaris is a thread-like animal almost devoid of external natures. The body is covered by a lubicle and there are no cilia. The gut has two opening, the mouth and anus which make its feeding, digestion and absorption more efficient. It can reach a length of 30cm for male while female worms range in size from 20-25cm in length and 2.6mm in diameter.

Ascaris lumbricoides belong to the class-

Nematoda, family – Ascarididal, phylum. Nemathelminthes (Adetokunbo and Herbert, 2003; brooks etal, 2007). The female worm is yrolific, laying up to 200,000 eggs a day. the typical egg has a yellowish – brown mamillated appearance.


Ascaris  lumbricoides is a thread-like animal almost devoid of external yeatures. The body is covered by a lubicle and there are no cilia. The gut has two openings, the mouth and anus. Because of its double opening, feeding, digestion and absorption is more efficient.  Longitudinal muscles beneath the ectoderm enable movement of the body. The absence of circular muscles, however, permits only a back and forth thrashing motion. The excretory system consist of canals which open to out side by an excretory pore.

Fig 1: Gravid female of  A. Lumbricoides

  1. Oesophagus. 2. Intestine                     3. Ovary
  2. Vulva 5. Oviduct        6.  Uterus.

Figure 2: Mature male of A.  lumbricoides

  1. Oesophagus 2. Intestine       3. Testis           4. Seminal vesicle

(source: Davey, T.H. et al, 1973).


The structural and life forms of helmininthes are generally complex and their life cycle changes from simple production of larvae (Juvenile stage) to complex alternative of generation involving as many as two to three direct hosts. There are many life cycle mode within the parasitic helminites. Some use direct life mode while others use indirect life mode/cycle. Direct life cycle involves only single host species used by many nematodes and cestoda. In indirect cycle, the parasite are those in which more than one host is used to complete the life cycle, example as in tremaatodes (flukes), utilizing snails as the intermediate host (Muoneke, 2003).

For the life cycle of Ascaris  lumbriciodes the unembryonated eggs are passed in faeces and take some days to devlop into the infection egg. The infective egg is swallowed in water or form contaminated food and then is hatched in the small intestine and penetrate it derive its food. Transmission of A. lumbriciodes is spread by faeces pollution of the environment. A person become infected by ingesting infective eggs in contaminated food or from hands that have become faecally contaminated. The mature worms live free in the intestine. Fertilized female worms produce many eggs per day. the eggs can remain viable in soil and dust for several years. These factors contribute to the wide spread and often heavy Ascaris infections which can be found especially among children of 3 – 8 years whose fingers become contaminated while playing on open ground. The worms can live 1-2 years in their host. The direct life cycle of A. lumbricoides is summarized belo


1.     Infective eggs

ingested in food or from contaminated hands




pathogenesis describes the origin of damages caused by parasitc and how these damages originated through the activates of the parasite.

Ascaris Pathology: The parasite causes a lot harm and in conveniences due to its warrdering nature in the body. It caused intestinal abotraction, which is a serious complication of ascariasis.

Ascariasis interferes with protein digestion in children and combination with hookworm infection. Ascaris lumbricoides, they are carried to the lings and excape into the air spaces. As the larva break out the lungs capillaries, they cause hecmorrhage and the accompanying accumulation of pools of blood, dead tissue etc. Lead to congestion ascaris infection interferes with normal metabolism and nutrition (Cowper, 1960).

The primary source of worm infestation is the food or water contaminated with infected faces. When these parasites are passed out through the anus, Some of them find their way to food used by man  get it contaminated their way to food used by man and get it contaminated examples are ascaris egg on vegetable like: Cabbage and other  vegetables eaten raw or poorly washed. Another sources of ascaris infection is the soil, that it the soil bore infective stage,, here the eggs of this worm hatch in the soil and larvia find its way into the host by active boring into the skin i.e the worm is geohelminth.


In the whole range of the diseases of man, it is in the field of intestinal parasites that obedience to the rule of cleanliness and the laws of sanitation proves most effective in preventing diseases. Prevention is the duty of everyone and prevention can only follow an understanding of the basic scientific principle or method underlying the cause and spread of disease in non and animal (Harod and Hubert, 1997).

Effort have been made for the establishment of public health department and general health service, installation of good toilets, administration which serve to influence individual and community attitudes favorable on matter of sanitations, nutrition and other aspects of disease prevention.  Based on these, the WHO has mapped a number of control options. They are subdivided into two (2) categories:

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL: Which includes improved sanitation, unifected water and food supply, ensuring that foods are free of parasite eggs and larval (Lucas and Gilles, 2003).
  2. mass Treatment: This involves the use of mass chemotherapeutic agents (drugs) to treat  the whole family with suitable worm expeller periodically. The mass treatment of children should be done using a single dose of one of the broad – spectrum antihelminthics. Some of the suggested drugs for the treatment of ascariasis include:
  3. Albendszole
  4. Mebendazole

iii.        Pyrantel

Stool samples were collected form children and  three different village in obeleagu umana. The villages were Umuoyi, Umuanekeuba and Umudim.

The Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 10 Years In Obeleagu Umana Village In Enugu State.

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