Egg Production of Oesophagostomum bifurcum, a Locally Common Parasite of Humans in Togo

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  • Ministry of Health, Lome and Dapaong, Laboratory for Parasitology, University of Leiden, Togo, The Netherlands

In northern Togo and northeastern Ghana, Oesophagostomum bifurcum is a common parasite in humans. Diagnosis is based on coproculture because the eggs of hookworm and Oesophagostomum are indistinguishable. To determine the level of egg production, 12 subjects were treated with 2 × 10 mg/kg of pyrantel pamoate and the worms they evacuated were then counted. Pretreatment and post-treatment species-specific egg counts were calculated on the basis of larval and total egg counts. The median worm burden was 81 (range 12–300) per person. The calculated median egg production was 33.7 egg/gram of feces per female worm. Assuming a total daily stool production of 150 g/day, this amounts to 5,055 eggs/day, which is comparable with the production of other nematodes of the same superfamily.

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