This study assessed the profile of intestinal parasites associated with diarrhoea among patients with the history of gastrointestinal illness and those without history of gastrointestinal illness prior to time of sample collection. Both wet mount preparation and formol-ether concentration methods were used to detect intestinal parasites in 1,040 stool samples. Smears were made from deposits of formol-ether concentration, air dried, fixed and stained with modified Ziehl-Neelsen method. The results show the presence of cyst/oocysts of six protozoan parasites and seven ova/larvae of helminth parasites.Cryptosporidium species, Cyclospora cayetanensis and Entamoeba histolytica/disparhad the highest prevalence of 23.8, 21.2 and 15.4%, respectively. The prevalence of regular parasites was generally low, the highest being Ascaris lumbricoides (6.5%) and Hookworm (4.2%). The prevalence of Cyclospora cayetanensis is more (29.4%) among the patients with gastrointestinal illness than among those without gastrointestinal illness (12.1%) but the difference was not significant (P value 0.12). The implication of these findings is discussed and it was suggested that Hospital laboratories in tropical countries should include Cyclospora cayetanensis in the diagnosis of unexplained diarrhoea.
Key words: Cyclospora cayetanensis, Cryptosporidium species, intestinal parasitoses,diarrhoea, Ilorin.
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