A Study of the Gastro-intestinal Parasites of domestic Populations of the Cockroach Periplaneta americana Linnaeus at Nsukka, Nigeria


Abstract: The gastro-intestinal parasites of Cockroaches Peritaneta americana Linnaeus from three domestic sources at Nsukka, Nigeria were studied. Five species of protozoa and six of helminths (including cysts of Entamoeba sp. and eggs of Ascaris sp, and Trichuris sp, ) were found in the insects. Cockroaches from sewage had comparatively the greatest parasite infestations while those from household boxes showed the least infection rates. Successive nymphal stages of the insects showed significant increase in their parasite loads, upwards to the adult stage. Most of the parasites were found in the hindgut region, and practically none in the foregut. Stained histological sections of the insects’ gut revealed close association between the parasites (especially Gregarina blattarum Spraque and Syphacia obvelata Rudolph) and the endothelium.
The epidemiology and ecological implications of the types, distribution, and loads of parasites found in the insects are discussed in relation to their common occurrence in and around human homes.

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