Cockroaches are considered as vectors of different diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and helminthes. The objective of this study was to examine the role of cockroaches as carriers of intestinal parasites in Wolkite town. Cockroaches were collected twice per month from five kebeles and 50 households, from March to April in 2016. A total of 209 cockroaches were collected in this study. In total, 157 (75.1%) specimens were infected with one or more intestinal parasites such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Hymenolepis nana, Taenia spp., Enterobius vermicularis, Strongyloides stercoralis, Trichiuris trichuira, Giardia lamblia, Entameoba histolytica/dispar and hookworm. The most frequent parasites found were Taenia spp. (29.7%) and E. histolytica/dispar (28.7%). Statistical difference was observed among the five kebelles (χ2= 13.1, P = 0.011) and the body distribution of parasites (internal and external) (χ2 = 28.415, P = 0.000). The high frequency of parasites in cockroaches in Wolkite town indicates that cockroaches are carriers of several zoonotic parasites that could infect Wolkite inhabitants. Therefore, controlling of cockroaches populations, creating awareness to the community about personal hygiene and environmental sanitation are essential to minimize the transmission of intestinal parasites by cockroaches.
Key words: Intestinal parasites, cockroach, Wolkite Town.
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