Research Article

The epidemiology of Ascaris lumbricoides and other soil-transmitted helminths in primary school children from Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Celia V. Hollanda1, S. O. Asaolua2, D. W. T. Cromptona3, R. C. Stoddarta3, R. Macdonalda3 and S. E. A. Torimiroa4

a1 1Department of Zoology, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

a2 2Department of Zoology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

a3 3Department of Zoology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland

a4 4Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


An epidemiological survey of intestinal helminthiases was conducted on 766 primary school children aged 5–16 years from Ile-Ife, Nigeria. On the basis of stool examinations, the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworm and Strongyloides stercoralis was 88·5, 84·5, 33·1 and 3% respectively. Intensity of infection was measured indirectly by egg counts for each species of helminth and also by counting worms passed after chemotherapy in the case of A. lumbricoides. The influence of host age and sex on infection levels was assessed. Relationships between the intensities of A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and hookworm in individual children were identified. After anthelmintic treatment with levamisole, the frequency distribution of A. lumbricoides per host and the relationship between parasite fecundity and worm burden were investigated.

(Accepted February 25 1989)

Key words

  • Ascaris lumbricoides;
  • Trichuris trichiura;
  • hookworm;
  • Strongyloides stercoralis;
  • prevalence;
  • helminthiases;
  • epidemiology