Journal of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

(ISSN: 2659 – 0743)

Volume 2, No. 2,  2020
Pages 128-134

DOI: 10.36108/jvbs/9102.20.0241

Prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica amongst infants with diarrhoea visiting the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital

Balarabe-Musa, B. and Onyeagba, K. D.
Department of Biological Sciences University of Abuja, Nigeria


Amoebiasis is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries because of lack of safe portable water and low level of hygiene. In Nigeria, amoebiasis is prevalent and widespread. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence ratio of E. histolytica among infants aged 1 to 59 months admitted at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja. The distribution of the infection was reported to relate more with inadequate environmental sanitation, poor personal hygiene and climate. The epidemiology, clinical features and causative agents of diarrhoea were investigated in 100 children aged 1-59 months visiting the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. One hundred stool samples were collected and examined. The use of direct smear and floatation methods were employed to analyze the prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica in diarrhoeal illness across gender, age, weight and stool appearance of the patients. Out of the one hundred stool samples screened 12% were positive for the parasite. Females were more infected (12.5%) than the males (11.4%), but there was no significant association between prevalence and gender (P>0.05). Children within the age group of 1 to 12 months old had the highest prevalence rate (20.0%). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica among the age groups (p< 0.05). Children that weighed less than 15kg had the highest prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica (25.0%). There was a positive correlation between the prevalence and weight (p<0.05). Prevalence rate of 16.0% was recorded for watery and bloody stool. There was a positive correlation between the prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica and stool characteristics  (p < 0.05). Hence this study analyzes the pattern, morbidty, occurrence and the preventibve measures to enact in tackling diarrhoeal illnesses. This study also aims to enlighten the public especially nursing mothers on the need to maintain proper hygiene in other to prevent contamination of diarrhoeal illness. Entamoeba histolytica can be a re-emerging serious infection when it finds favorable environmental conditions and host factors which are mainly attributed to poor hygiene in this study. This may occur in any area of the world with the same risk factors. Owing to the findings of this research, public health interventions such as the provision of clean water, community health education, observation of food hygiene, and maintenance of functioning sanitation systems are recommended towards controlling the infection.

Keywords: Prevalence; Entamoeba histolytica; Infants; Diarrhoea.

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