Fresh vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Consumed raw, they could be agents of transmission of intestinal parasites. The frequency and variability of parasites eggs on thirty-two samples each of lettuce, tomato and cucumber form irrigated vegetable farms in Bamako, Kati, Baguineda, Samanko, Sikasso and Niono were evaluated. The parasite load was assessed using Uga et al. method, which consist the counting of parasite eggs and cysts in 100 g of vegetable. The overall prevalence of parasitic contamination of vegetables was 20.83% of which 41.66% for lettuce and 16.66% for tomato. Cucumber was free of parasites eggs. Parasites found on the vegetables were Entamoeba coli and Trichomonas intestinalis (24.19% each), Ascaris lumbricoides (13.25%), Giardia intestinalis (12.9%), Balantidium coli (11.29%), Entamoeba histolitica (7.26%), Fasciola hepatica (3.23%), Trichinella spiralis (1.61%), Ancylostoma duodenale and Schistosoma intercalatum (1.04% each). The frequency of parasites on lettuce was 83.33% each in Bamako and Niono; 50% in Kati; 16.66% each in Baguineda and Samanko and 0% in Sikasso. Consumption of vegetables contaminated by parasites can cause a health risk for consumers.
Key words: Parasitic contamination, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, health risk.
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