Background: Ascaris lumbricoides infection is a major public health problem especially in developing countries. There is paucity of data on the prevalence of this parasite using an IgG4 detection method other than microscopy in Nigeria. Aim: In a cross-sectional survey, the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides infection was carried out among school children using microscopy and IgG4 antibodies detection techniques in Central Nigeria. Methods: After ethical clearance, stool and blood samples were collected from 400 children and examined for the parasite using microscopy and IgG4 A. lumbricoides ELISA kit in the selected schools in Nasarawa, Nigeria. The overall prevalence of the infection using microscopy and IgG4 detection was 28.0% and 30.5% respectively. The five classical microscopy techniques with the highest rates were ZnSO4 solution and stoll egg counting techniques (28.5%). Tammah and Oversea primary school had the highest prevalence of 36.0% (P>0.05). Gender and age were not associated with the parasitic infection while occupation of the parents/guardians was a risk factor for the infection (p<0.05). Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has reported the prevalence of A. lumbricoides infection using IgG4 detection technique in Central Nigeria. Intense awareness campaigns that will promote good hygiene and faecal deposition practices, creation of deworming programs in schools and provision of basic amenities that will help curb the parasite in the areas are urgently recommended.
Azamu Ibaku Gowon, Oti Victor Baba, Oti Isaac Baba, Philip Aaron Akpu and Anizoba Ezinne Lynda