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Some locally available fruits (garden egg, orange, banana, guava, avocado, pawpaw and pineapple).sold in Oye Emene Enugu, Enugu State was examined for parasitological contamination. A total of 87 samples were examined using sedimentation and concentration methods. 11(12.6%) of the 87 fruits were positive for intestinal parasites microscopically. Among these fruits, guava had the highest number of intestinal parasites which was 6 (35.3% positive and the lowest was banana 2(8%). Parasite implicated were ova of Ascaris lumbricoides 8(9.2%), cysts of Amoeba 3(10%), yeast cells were seen on pineapple and water melon. There is no significant difference between the two methods used. Results of the current study shows a significant level of fruits contamination with pathogenic parasite from different places in Oye Emene in Enugu, Enugu State suggesting existence of a great risk of acquiring intestinal parasites by eating improperly washed fruits.


Title page – – – – – – – – – i
Approval page – – – – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgment – – – – – – – – iv
Table one- – – – – – – – – – v
Table two – – – – – – – – – vi
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vii

1.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 1

2.0 Literature Review – – – – – – – 7
2.1 Incidence of water borne disease with special emphasis on
re-sue or waste water in agriculture – – – – 16
2.2 Indicator organism – – – – – – – 18
2.3 Sanitation of fruits – – – – – – – 19
2.4 Importance of cleaning and sanitation of fruits – – – 21

3.0 Materials and Methods – – – – – – 23
3.1 Sampling collection – – – – – – – 23
3.2 Parasitological examination of the fruits — – – – 23
3.2.1 Concentration of eggs – – – – – – 25
4.0 Results – – – – – – – – – 27
4.1 Findings – – – – – – – – 31
Discussion – – – – – – – – – 32
Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 33
References – – – – – – – – 34
Appendix – – – – – – – – 37


Among horticultural crops, fruits are of great importance for an adequate and
balance human diet. In certain part of the world, fruits are the major dietary staple.
Apart from being a rich source of vitamins, and minerals, the production of fruits
also contributes significantly to regional and national economics through national
and international trade. The term fruit has many different meaning depending on
the context.
A fruit is a ripened ovary together with seeds of a flowering plant. Fruits are the
means through which flowering plants disseminate seeds (Lewis, 2002).
In cuisine when food items are called “fruits” the term is most often used for those
plants fruits that are edible, sweet, and fresh examples are: apples, and oranges.
Fruits are cultivated in areas where the environmental factors are suitable for their
growth. Emene in Enugu state is considered one of the areas that have good
cultivating land for great yield of fruits and this is done usually during rainy season
or use of irrigation during dry season. Irrigation water is achieved by different
sources like lake, stream, river, ponds etc. which may be polluted with animal and
human feaces. Due to high number of eggs, cyst and larvae of human intestinal
parasites present in the waste
water, the use of excreta polluted water is a health risk to both the farmers and the
consumers that eat the produce raw and fresh, like apples, guava, pear and mango
(Scolf, 1992).
Pollination is a vital part of fruit culture, and in few species, they may develop in
the absence of pollination/fertilization, a process known as “parthernocarpy” such
fruits are seedless (Mauseth &James 2003). Many foods are botanically fruits, but
are treated as vegetables in cooking and food preparations. Examples are:
Tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkin and pears etc. (Mcgee and Harold 2004). Ethylene
causes ripening in fruits.
There are three types of fruits
1. Simple fruit
2. Aggregate fruit and
3. Multiple fruit
Simple fruit can be either dry or fresh, Example carrot, wheat, tomato, avocado,
banana etc.(Schelegel,2002).
The examples of an aggregate fruits are pineapple, bread fruit, etc. some fruits
have coat covered with Spikes or hooked burrs, either to prevent themselves from
being eaten by animals, using them as dispersal agent. eg. unicorn plant (Heiser
and Charles 2003). Many fruits are used to make beverages, such as fruit juice,
(orange juice, apple juice, grape juice
etc).or alcoholic beverages, such as wine or brandy. Apples are often used to make
vinegar. Mcgee (2004) fruits are contaminated with parasites and some parasite
infections which have direct life cycle and do not need an intermediate host to
infect a new host are via feacal-orally transmitted parasites. Infections acquired
through direct ingestion of infective egg or cyst is intimately linked with level of
personal hygiene and sanitation in the community. Factors like the lack of latrine
and adequate sewage disposal facilities have been known to contribute to the
spread of the infective states of the parasites thereby bringing about a wide spread
contamination of foods. Infection can be acquired through contaminated unwashed
fingers, insects, circulation of currency and by wind during dry season.
Contamination of fruits with eggs and cyst especially those hawked by fruit
vendors may also serve as a source of infection to consumers of such fruits items.
These parasites includes: entamoeba histolystica, Giardia duodenace, Trichuris
trichura, Ascaris Lumbricoides and Benterobius vermiculais. (World Health
Organization [WHO],2000).
Amoebiasis is known to cause about 450 million infections per annum in
developing countries with an incidence of about 50 million and 100,000 deaths.
Giardiais is more common in children and has a world wide prevalence of about 1
30% (Wov and Paterson, 1986). Ascaris is the commonest nematodes of man
especially in tropical Africa with a prevalence of about 40% in Enugu State
(Reonthalaer, 1988). And may be as high as 96-100% in the rural community in
Enugu State.The resistance capacity of the eggs and cyst of these parasites is a
feature of profound influence on the epidemiology.
Eggs of Ascaris can remain viable for up to six years. (Njom,2002). Many people
who eat fresh fruit as part of an overall health diet are likely to have reduced risk of
some chronic diseases. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduce risk for
stroke, diabetes, certain cancers such as (mouth), heart, diseases, developing
kidney stone, and decreases bone loss.
Fruit reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida and anecephaly during
fetal development
(Ayer, 2001). Fruits are very important in human consumption especially
health wise. Parasites that affect fruits need to be controlled in a proper process in
order not to affect those that are of medially important. The major way of selecting
the appropriate intervention stops to reduce population to pathogenic
microorganism on fruits is to identify sources of contamination and ecology of the
pathogens as it is affected by processing practices. Organism like; Samonella,
cryptosproridium, cyclospora, Giardia, are among the disease causing organisms
that have been transferred via fresh fruits (Sushow, 1997).The use of disinfectant
like chlorine, in wash water can also help to prevent both host harvest disease and
food borne illnesses.
The evaluation of these medically important parasites found in fruits will
depend on the knowledge of the factors contributing to the spread of such parasites
including the activities of fruit vendors at Orie emene market and then affect on the
distribution of these parasites.

1. To determine the parasite of medical importance in fruit sold at Orie Emene
market in Enugu State.
2. To determine whether washing of fruits with untreated water eliminates the
parasites of medical importance (pathogenic parasites) from them.
3. To determine whether fruits are safe to be eaten without washing them as some
people do.
Parasites are organisms which have adapted themselves in or on another
organism which is called a host, and lives at the expenses of the tissue and fluid of
the host deriving their nutrient and protection from the host, thereby harming or
being of no advantage to the host. (Crew, 1999).
They increase their fitness by exploiting host for food, habitat and dispersal.
Parasites may be transmitted from animals to humans, from humans to humans, or
from humans to animals. Several parasites have emerged as significant cause of
food borne and water borne disease in the whole world.
This is achieved through consumption of contaminated food and water or by eating
any raw fruits that has been contaminated with water or food. Parasites are of
different types and ranges in size from tiny-single-celled, microscopic organisms
(protozoa) to large multi-cellular worms, (helminthes) that may be seen with a
Some of the parasites are
Giardia lamblia (intestinalis) cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclospora-cayetanesis,
Toxoplasma gonadii, and Trichnella Spiralis.
G. duodenalis formally called g.
Lamblia causes Giardiasis.
It is one celled microsiopic parasites that can live in the intestine of animals and
It is found in every region throughout the world and may cause chronic diarrhea,
malabsorptoin, weight loss with symptoms for several months. (Hill, 1993).
Giardiaisis is mainly acquired by transmission of cysts of G. Intestiinalis via soiled
hands, contaminated with faeces (pentersen, 1988). Consumers get this disease by
consuming food or water – contaminated with G. duodenalis cysts (infective stage
of the organism) and by putting anything into the mouth that has touched the stool
of a person or animal with giardiasis. This occur usually 1-2 weeks after ingestion
of G. duodenalis cysts, which is the environmental survival form and infecting
stages of the organism but may last for 4 to 6 weeks in healthy person.
There are cases of chronic illness lasting months or even years. People exposed to
public places including those with HIV/AIDS infection are at risk for contracting
giardiasis. (World Health Organization [WHO],2003).
Giardiasis can be prevented by washing hand with hot, soapy water before
handling foods and eating, and after using the toilet diapering young children, and
handling animals also by making sure infected individuals wash their hands
frequently to reduce the spread of infection, and drinking water only from the
treated municipal water supplies. When traveling to countries where the water
supply may be unsafe to drink, either avoid drinking the water or boil to kill
parasites. Drinking bottled beverages or hot coffee and tea are safe alternative. Do
not swallow water while swimming especially in community pools where there
might be people’s child or people suffring giardiasis. Drink only pasteurizes milk,
juice or cider. Wash, peel, or cook raw fruits and vegetables before eating. Do not
use untreated manure to fertilize fruits and vegetables.
Giardiasis is more prevalent in children than in adults, possibly because
many individuals seem to have a lasting immunity after infection and is implicated
in 25% of the cases of gastrointestinal diseases and may be present
asymptomatically about 40% of those who are diagnosed with giardiasis
demonstrate disaccharide intolerance during detectable infection and about six
months after, the infection can no longer be detected. (John and Wily,1999).
Chronic cases of giardiasis in immunodeficient and normal individuals are
frequently retractile to drug treatments (Nichole and Smith, 2002). Five outbreaks
have been traced to food contamination by infected or infested food handlers, and
the possibility of infections from contaminated fruits and vegetables that are eaten
raw cannot be excluded.
Cryptosporidiosis; it is a celled microscopic parasite, and a significant cause
of water borne illness worldwide. It is found in the intestine of many herd animals
people get cryptosporidiosis by
1. Consuming food or water contaminated with C. parvum oocysts, (infective
stage).The oocysts is the environmental resistant stage of the organism and are
shed in the faeces of a host into soil.
2. By putting anything into the mouth (faecal oral route) that have touched stool of
infected person. The symptoms of this disease are watery diarrhea, stomach
cramp, upset stomach and light fever. Some case may be without symptoms.
Symptoms appear to ten days after ingestion of C. parvum oocysts. The illness
usually goes away without medical intervention in three to four days. But in
some outbreaks in day care centres diarrhea has lasted one to four weeks. In
people with weakened immune system, cryptosporidiosis can be serious, long
lasting and sometimes fatal. However, there is no known effective drug or
medication whatsoever for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis (Millard,
Gensheimer and Addis, 1994).
Cyclospora cayetanesis, causes of cyclosporidiasis is a one celled microscopic
parasite. Currently little is known about this organism, although cases of
cyclosporasis are reported from various countries with increasing frequency.
Consumption of contaminated fruits and food in general with C. cayetanesis
causes this disease. Symptoms includes; watery-diarrhea sometimes explosive,
Stomach cramps, nausa, vomiting, muscle ache, low grade fever and fatigue. Some
cases are more severe in persons with weakened immune system and appear about
one week after the ingestion of C. caetanensis oocysts. Persons of all ages are at
risk for infection. Untreated manure should not be used to fertilize fruits. The
parasite that are mainly found in fruits more than vegetables are cryptosporidium,
cyclospora, and Giardia (Nichols and Smith, 2002). Outbreaks linked to these
protozoa and multi-cellular worms – has been associate with fruits. Fruits and
vegetables normally carry a non-pathogenic epiphytic micro-flora. Hence, there are
certain factors which contribute the microbiological contamination of these
products with pathogens. Consequences of treating soil with organic fertilizers
such as manure, and savage sludge from irrigation water harvesting, cutting,
slicing, etc the inner tissues of fruits are usually regarded as sterile (Lund, 1992).
Bacteria can be present in low numbers as a result of the uptake of water
through certain irrigation or washing procedures or contaminated with human
Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated while growing in fields or
during harvesting, handling processing, distribution and use. (Beuchat, 1995).
At the point when an intact part of a plant is marketed e.g. carrot, lettuce etc.
any microbial contamination present is likely to reflect the environment through
which the product has passed, information compiled by Beuchat (1998) provides
an overview of food borne pathogens. In different fruits products, a conclusion of
the report is that the presence of pathogenic – microorganisms on raw fruits varies
considerably. Surveys of the presence of parasite are fewer because of the lack of
adequate detection methods that can be applied to fruits. Fresh fruits continue to
respire consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide and water vapour.
The increasing use of waste water for irrigation in the 1970s and early 1980s
prompted a series of literature reviews and investigations into the global extent of
waste water re-use and its association with human health risk.
The infection can also be a house hold affair where infected children or person
provide the chief source of soil contamination by their promiscuous defecation in
the soils.
The climate, vegetation and topography of Plateau state are suitable for the
cultivation of fruits, using rain during wet season and irrigation during which water
is derived from two sources, rivers and ponds during dry season.
It is a known fact that the use of execrate polluted irrigation water is a health
risk to farmers and consumers of crops so produced.
Raw waste water frequently contains high number of eggs of human intestinal
nematodes where night soil is extensively used as fertilizers or waste water re-use
is practiced.
This work is designed to detect the human intestinal parasites that improperly
washed fruits contain and ways in which they could be controlled.
More and more people are concerned these days about the presence of parasites
of medical importance in fresh fruits. According to the numerous studies nearly
85% Americans have parasites in their body. (World Health Organization
[WHO],1990). Intestinal parasitic helminthes and protozoa infections are among
the most common infections world-wide. In spite of the fact that the mortality rate
among these infections is rather low in the case of Ascaris lumbricoides two per
1,000,000 people due to the high prevalence, these infections are regarded as a
serious public health problem.
There are several types of intestinal worms, the most commonly noticed
parasites are roundworms, hookworms, Threadworms, and tape worms.
Roundworms are giant intestinal parasites measuring 15 to 25 cm in length.
They are of white in colour and are most frequently infect Chidren, Eggs produced
by them are passed in stools. Roundworms eggs may remain alive in the soil for
many months. They may give rise to inflammation of the intestine and lungs
prepared food such as salad, canned Salmon, ice etc have also been implicated in
food borne outbreak (Nichols, 2002).
G.lamblia-cyst have been detected in flies that may serve as a vector for
contamination of foods (Graczyk, Grimes and Veal, 2003).
Of 39 outbreaks of the disease associated with drinking water reported to the CDC
in 1999 to 2000, 6 outbreaks affecting 52people, were traced to the presence of G.
intestinalis in inadequately treated well or driver water or in water contaminated by
cross connections with pipes containing sewage (Campbell and Wallis, 2003).
Ascaris lumbricoide is a common intestinal roundworm parasite infecting an
estimated one quarter of the world’s population (Han, 2003).
Humans are the only known host for the roundworms.
Techniques for the detection and enumeration of Ascaris egg on fruits have been
developed and may be useful for screening fresh fruits for contamination
(Hebbari,Tifrouli and Mandel 2000). The real cause of intestinal worms however is
the use of contaminated food or water. The eggs of these worms can breed in the
intestinal only if they find suitable medium for propagation. This medium is an
intestinal tract clogged with morbid matter and systemic refuse to winging feeding
habitat Robertson et al.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that drinking water is a important
vehicle for transmission in underdeveloped countries when there was a breakdown
in a water purification or cross contamination between sewage and drinking water
pipes (Barwick et al, 2002).
Food borne transmission is often due to handler and also occurs hen produce is
freshened or crops are irrigated with contaminated water.

The use of contaminated water has caused some incidence of water borne diseases
in Nigeria. Okoronkwo (2000) in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria worked on 120
samples each ofvarious vegetables crops as follows: tomatoes, lettuce, carrot,
sprinarch, and cabbage.
The result showed that varying amounts of viable eggs of Ascaris, Trichuris, and
Ancyclostoma – dudodenale per 100 gram of the various vegetables were
recovered, hence, the need to enforce the use of treatment technology which can
produce high level of parasite, bacterial and viral removal from waste water used
to irrigate vegetables farmlands.
In Africa, the growing demand for fresh and perishable agricultural produce in the
major cities is deriving the development of pre-urban agriculture.
This demand is not seasonal, necessitating years-round production, heavily
dependent on irrigation.
Recycling solid waste and waste water into Petri-urban horticultural production
contribute to cleaning the environment.
However, this is associated with potential health risk which calls for careful
agronomic practices including water quality and waste water management
(Hebbari et al, 1999). Investigated the cases of helminthic infections associated
with the use of raw waste water for agricultural purposes in Beni Mella, Morocco.
Children attending primary schools were used because schools are very easily
accessible for most suitable study and disease recurrence is usually high. Seven
hindered and forty were savaged from five schools where waste water re-use for
agriculture is practiced. World Health Organization (2001) made it clear that for
the two parasites (Ascaris lumbricoides and T. trichura.).
Infection can be classified as light intensity infections (<5000 egg and <1000 egg
per gram, respectively). While mixed infections by two or three parasites was
observed among 2.9% of the waste water exposed children, none occurred among
the children living in the control. Among the children infected by two or three
parasite, 40.9 and were infected by a. lumbricoides, E. Vermiculairs, H.nana and
4.5% by tribhura and E. Vermicularis in the area exposed to waste water irrigation
A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and T. saginata affected 21.10%. 0.4%, 6.0% 8.5%
and 2.5% of boys and girls respectively. No statistical significant sex difference
was found except for Taenia baginata.

Faecal coliform and faecal streptococcus are the conventional indication of
faecal pollution of water is used (Colwell et al, 1978). Some more reliable
indicator organisms of faecal pollution are coliphagea, clisotridium perfringes and
bitido bacteria (Abnelli, 1989). They should be present in feacal in greater
numbers than any pathogen, yet be unable to proliferate in water to any extent.
More over, they should be more resistant than other pathogen to the stress of the
aquatic environment and disinfection process
(Mackie and Mac, 1999).As a result of this difficulty, for direct search for
pathogens in water, microbiologist have evolved simple and rapid test for the
detection of normal intestinal organism known as faecal indicator organisms,
which account for the highest source of pollution especially in developing
countries like Nigeria. The organisms used as indicators are E.coli, S. faecalis,
Salmonella SPP, Bitidobacteria Vibrio Cholera. The most widely used are
coliforms bacteria. The total coliforms that got narrowed down to the faecal
Streptococcus coliforms, and the faecal streptococcus faecal numbers that usually
disappear at he same rate as E. coli but quick than coliforms.

The use of a disinfectant in wash water can help to prevent both post harvest
disease and food borne illnesses.
Chlorine in the form of hypochloride solution or as dry powered calcium
hypochlorite can be used in hydro-cooling or wash water as a disinfectant.
Chlorine is routinely used as a sanitizer in wash, spray, and flums waste used in the
fresh and vegetable industry.
The efficacy of chlorine in killing pathogenic microorganisms has been extensively
studied. As noted by (Lund, 2002).
The inaccessibility of chlorine to microbial cells in crevices, ceases, Pockets
and natural openings in the skin also undoubtedly contributes to the overall lack of
effectiveness of chlorine in killing pathogens. The hydrophobic nature of the waxy
cuticle on tissue surface cuticle on tissue surface protects surface contaminants
from exposure to chlorine and other produce sanitizers that do not penetrate or
dissolve these waxes. Surface active agents lessen the hydrophobic of fruit skin as
well as the surface of edible leaves, stems and flowers, but they may also cause
deterioration of sensory qualities.
Sanitizer that contain a solvent that would remove the waxy cuticle layer,
adversely affecting sensory characteristics would hold greater potential than
chlorinated water in reducing microbial populations on whole raw produce, such
sanitizers may be limited to use on produce that will be further processed into juice
or cut products, or on whole fruits vegetables, or plants or on whole fruits,
vegetables, or plant parts. Destined for immediate consumption, since their
application adversely affect visual appearances.
Currently, chlorine at concentration permitted for use by the industry to
wash fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be relied upon to eliminate pathogens.
Ozonizatoin is another technology that can be sued to sanitize produce. A naturally
occurring molecule, ozone is a powerful disinfectant and has long been used to
sanitize drinking water. Fruits and vegetable growers also have begun using it in
dump tanks. Ozone not only kills whatever food borne pathogen might be present,
it also destroys microbes responsible for spoilage.
The use of mesh produce bag in an old washing machine set to spine cycle is
recommended (Newen house, 1998).

Clean, well designed and maintained equipment is less likely to cause damage to
fresh produce and to introduce spillage and pathogenic microorganism (Brackett,
1992). And keeping the harvested product under controlled environmental
conditions will help retard growth of post harvest spoilage (Brackett, 1992, and
pathogenic microorganisms. Adequate post harvest treatment of fruits including
handling, storage, Transportation and cleaning; helps to reduce cross
contamination of the produce from other agricultural materials or from the
Environmental conditions and transportation time will also influence the hygienic
quality of the produce prior to processing or consumption.
The presence of cut or damaged surface provides an opportunity for
contamination and growth of microorganism and ingress into the plant tissue
(Francis et al, 1999). Washing of fruits remove most of the adhering soil and dirt,
hence, it should be recognized that first washing may also be a source of microbial
contamination so should be done properly. An examples is the contamination of
mangoes exported to the United States from Braciwerer found to be infecting
consumers with salmonella (sivapalasingam and Barwich, 2000) cleaning and
sanitizing food surfaces and equipment extend shelf life and increase protection
against financial loss. The method of infestation applied in determining
contamination in fruit is carried out in the laboratory following the procedures and
or steps explained below:


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