Prasitic Contamination Of Vegetables Eaten Raw In Lahore - 2012

Fresh vegetables are important part of human diet. Eating raw vegetable is customary in many parts of the world including Pakistan, but these raw vegetables can be a major source of parasites. A parasitic survey on vegetables collected from major markets in Lahore was conducted for the discovery of human and animal parasites. Ten species of vegetables: beet (Beta vulgaris), cabbage (Brassica denceal), carrot (Davcus carota) chili (Capsicum frutecense), coriander (Corriandum sativum) cucumber (Cucumis sativa), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Mint (Mentha viridis), radish (Raphanus sativus), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentun) were evaluated in this study. Fifty samples of each vegetable were taken, comprising a total of 500 samples for the study.
Hundred gram of each vegetable was washed with a cationic solution of Hyamin detergent containing glass particles for the elution of eggs. Concentration of eggs/cysts was achieved by centrifugal sedimentation technique at 5000 rpm for 5 minutes. Sediment was examined under microscope for the presence of parasite eggs, cysts and larvae.
Examination of vegetables revealed twelve genera of parasites. All vegetables were highly contaminated with parasites with an overall prevalence of 31.2%. Of parasites studied, Ascaris eggs found to be the highest (37.1%), followed by Hook worm(10.8%) and Trichostrongyloides sp.(8.9%), while the least common parasite was Toxoplasma gondii (1.9%).
Lettuce showed the highest contamination (48%), followed by Cabbage (44%) and Mint (podina) (42%) while chili showed the least contamination (16%).
The results would seem to indicate that one of the important routes of parasitic infection is due to consumption of raw and unwashed vegetables. So, enlightenment programs for the public on necessity of food sanitation and personal hygiene should be intensified.

Department of Parasitology


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