The intestinal parasitic quality of fresh commercial waterleaf (Talinum fruticosum) from Amai was investigated. A total of 30 fresh Talinum fruticosum (waterleaf) leaves was sourced from Amai central market and transported to the laboratory for examination. The leaves were washed in normal saline before centrifuging the saline for microscopic examination. The results obtained showed that the majority of the vegetables sampled were contaminated by intestinal parasites. Out of the 30 samples analysed 23 were positive, while 7 were negative, yielding a prevalence rate of 76.7%. A total of 41 parasites were identified microscopically and were distributed among seven (7) species, namely; Entamoeba coli (n=8), Entamoeba histolytica (n=6), Enterobius vermicularis (n=11), Strongyloides stercodis (n=9), Necator americanus (n=1), Trichuris trichiura (n=2), Schistosoma mansoni (n=2), Giardia lamblia (n=2). The most prevalent parasite in the samples was Enterobius vermicularis (n=11), while the least was Necator americanus (n=1). These findings indicate that the commercial waterleaf vegetables sourced from the study location were largely contaminated by intestinal parasites. This is of public health importance due to the risk of infection with the identified parasites via consumption of the poorly processed vegetables. Therefore, it is recommended that retailers of leafy vegetable and consumers should endeavour to wash all products thoroughly before selling and consumption. This can be achieved through proper washing in clean salt or chlorinated water.
Keywords: Talinum fruticosum, Schistosoma mansoni, Enterobius vermicularis