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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 613960, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/613960
Research Article

Parasitic Contamination of Commonly Consumed Fresh Leafy Vegetables in Benha, Egypt

Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha 13518, Egypt

Received 27 February 2014; Revised 24 April 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Published 16 June 2014

Academic Editor: Alvin A. Gajadhar

Copyright © 2014 Maysa Ahmad Eraky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study evaluated the degree of parasitic contamination of vegetables which are commercialized and consumed fresh in Benha, Egypt. It included 530 vegetables: lettuce, watercress, parsley, green onion, and leek. Vegetables were collected randomly from markets within Benha. Samples were washed in saline, and the resulting washing solution was filtered and centrifuged to concentrate the parasitic stages. Sediments and supernatants were examined by iodine and modified Ziehl-Neelsen stained smears. Intestinal parasites were detected in 157/530 (29.6%) samples. Giardia lamblia cysts were the most prevalent parasite (8.8%) followed by Entamoeba spp. cysts (6.8%), Enterobius vermicularis eggs (4.9%), various helminth larvae (3.6%), Hymenolepis nana eggs (2.8%), Hymenolepis diminuta eggs (2.1%), and Ascaris lumbricoides eggs (0.6%). The highest contaminated vegetable was lettuce (45.5%) followed by watercress (41.3%), parsley (34.3%), green onion (16.5%), and leek (10.7%). These results indicate a significant seasonal variation ( ), with highest prevalence in summer (49%) and the lowest in winter (10.8%). These findings provide evidence for the high risk of acquiring parasitic infection from the consumption of raw vegetables in Benha, Egypt. Effective measures are necessary to reduce parasitic contamination of vegetables.