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Afro-Egypt J Infect  Endem  Dis  2017 December ; 7(4):192

Parasitic Contamination of Commonly Consumed Fresh Vegetables and Fruits in Some Rural Areas of Sharkyia Governorate, Egypt

Samia E. Etewa, Sara A. Abdel-Rahman, Ghada M. Fathy,Dalia A. Abo El-Maaty and Mohamed H. Sarhan

Medical Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt



Background and study aim: The healthy diet must basically contain fresh fruits and vegetables. Contaminated vegetables and fruits consumption is a way of getting people infected with intestinal parasites. This study aimed to detect the parasitic contamination in some common fresh vegetables and fruits in Sharkyia Governorate, Egypt and the effect of potassium permanganate (Session [UserIDID]mg/L) and acetic acid 5% upon these parasites.

Patients and Methods: The study examined 420 samples: lettuce, watercress, parsley, cucumber, carrots and strawberry. Their collection was done from some rural areas of Sharkyia governorate's markets. Samples were washed and the solution resulted from washing was filtered and centrifuged to concentrate the parasitic stages. Sediments and supernatants were microscopically examined using iodine and modified Ziehl–Neelsen stained smears. Then the positive samples were soaked separately in acetic acid 5% and potassium permanganate Session [UserIDID]ml/L for 15 and 30 minutes. Then they were tested by 0.2% trypan blue stain to detect the viability of parasites.

Results: The parasites were determined in 164/420 (39%) samples. Giardia lamblia cysts were the most prevalent parasite (12.6%) followed by Cryptosporidium spp.oocysts (7.6%), Entamoeba spp. cysts (6.2%), Blastocystis hominis cysts (3.8%), Hymenolepis nana eggs (2.8%), Ascaris lumbricoides eggs (1.9%), various helminths larvae (1.6%), Enterobius vermicularis eggs (1.4%) and Balantidium coli cysts (0.9%). The highest contaminated one was watercress (55.7%) followed by lettuce (45.7%), parsley (44.2%), cucumber (31.4%), strawberry (30%) and carrots (27.1%). There was a reduction in the viability of the parasites after exposure to acetic acid 5% and potassium permanganate Session [UserIDID]mg/L but the statistical difference between the percentages was insignificant.

Conclusion: The results of the study emphasized a possible role of contaminated raw vegetables and fruits in the spread of parasitic diseases in Sharkyia governorate, Egypt. Acetic acid 5% and potassium permanganate Session [UserIDID]ml/L are considered effective disinfectants to reduce parasitic contamination of fresh vegetables and fruits.