Diversity Profiling of Helminth Eggs in Waste Stabilisation Ponds in the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana
Eggs of intestinal nematodes are of great health risk, they are mostly released from human excreta and recognised as causative agents of excreta-associated infections. Engineered waste stabilisation ponds serve as treatment vessels for inactivation of such helminths. The study determined the diversity profile and level of concentration of helminth eggs in waste stabilisation ponds in the Tamale Metropolis landfill site. The results of the study indicated concentration levels of 23.6, 20.8, 13.3 and 10.7 eggs/litre for the anaerobic, primary facultative, secondary facultative and maturation ponds, respectively. Concentration of helminth eggs among the various ponds varied significantly (p < 0.001). Eggs of Strongyloides stercoralis, Ascaris lumbricoides and Necator americanus were identified as the most abundant with average concentrations of 295, 124 and 78 eggs/litre, respectively. Diversity profile analyses showed that helminth eggs were highly diverse in all ponds and recording various levels especially in the maturation ponds. Taenia spp, Diphyllobothrium latum, Paragonimus westermani, Fasciola spp, Metagonimus yokogawi and Enterobius vermicularis all recorded no egg in samples collected from the maturation pond. Results also showed a concentration reduction serially of helminth eggs from the anaerobic pond to the maturation pond. Three species were dominant in all treatment ponds out of 11 identified species during the study. The primary facultative pond recorded the highest values for all the indices indicating a high level of diversity whilst the secondary facultative pond recorded the lowest thus indicating a low level of diversity.
Keywords: Helminth, Eggs, Concentration, Diversity, Waste, Stabilisation Pond
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