Muhammad Anis Khan

Assessment Of Parasitological Contamination Of Fresh Ad Dry Fruits In Lahore - 2013

Fruits are important part of human diet. Eating unwashed fruits is common in
many parts of the world including Pakistan, but these can be a major source of parasites.
A parasitic survey on fruits collected from major markets in Lahore was conducted for
the discovery of human and animal parasites. Ten species of fruits: Guava, Apple,
Sapodilla, Sweetsop, Strawberry and dry fruits: Apricot, Date, Persimmon, Fig and
Raisins were evaluated in this study. Fifty samples of each fruit and a total of 500
samples were taken for the study.
Hundred gram of each fruit 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
Examination of fruits revealed nine genera of parasites. All fruits were highly
contaminated with parasites with an overall prevalence of 35.2%. Of parasites studied,
Ascaris found to be the highest (36%), followed by Trichuris (14.3%) and
Trichostrongyloides sp.(11.9%), while the least common parasite was Fasciola (2.9%).
Fruits are the source of parasitic infestation. The most contaminated fresh fruit
was strawberry (54%) followed by guava (48%). Whereas the least contaminated fresh fruits was sweetsop (22%). The most contaminated dry fruits was fig (46%) followed by
date (38%). whereas the least contaminated dry fruits was (20%).
The results indicate that one of the important routes of parasitic infection is due to
consumption of unwashed fruits.
Strong efforts should be made to prevent contamination of fruits and vegetables
during production, transport, processing and handling, much improvement is still needed
in our country if hygienic production of fruits and vegetables is to be ensured. This study
provides an overview of the hazards associated with eating contaminated fruits. Parasitic
infections like Cryptosporidiosis can be acquired by people if orchards or water sources
near cow pastures become contaminated from infected cows and people consume the fruit
without proper washing. The study needs to be carried out in other areas of Pakistan and
more fresh and dry fruits should be included in the study. Information regarding the
contamination of the fruits should be published in the national newspapers because
awareness of the public is very important for the control of these contaminations.

Department of Parasitology


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