The Cockroach as a Host for Trichinella and Enterobius vermicularis: Implications for Public Health

Chan, Owen T. M.; Lee, Eric K. W.; Hardman, John M.; Navin, James J.
March 2004
Hawaii Medical Journal;Mar2004, Vol. 63 Issue 3, p74
Academic Journal
Cockroaches are known carriers of bacteria and fungi that produce disease in humans. However, the fink between pathogenic helminths and cockroaches has not been fully explored. This preliminary study demonstrates Trichinella and Enterobius (also known as human "pinworm") infestation in cockroaches obtained from a grade school and hospitals in Hawaii. This is the first report of Trichinella and Enterobius infestation in naturally occurring cockroaches. These results suggest that roachs are an unappreciated hosts for these human pathogens and are potential reservoirs for these nematodes, supporting their persistence and transmissibility in the environment. Given the ubiquitous nature of the cockroach and the human-occupied settings in which the infested roaches were found, public health concerns are apparent. Furthermore, this information may have diagnostic value when examining Trichinella and Enterobius-infected individuals.


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