Enteric pathogens of food sellers in rural Gambia with incidental finding of Myxobolus species (Protozoa Myxozoa)

Richard S Bradbury, Barbara Barbé, Jan Jacobs, Amadou T Jallow, Karamo C Camara, Musa Colley, Rita Wegmüller, Babucarr Jassey, Yorro Cham, Ignatius Baldeh, Andrew Prentice

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Ongoing surveillance of enteric pathogens of public health significance among casual food sellers is undertaken in many resource-limited countries. We report the results of a survey in Kiang West province, The Gambia, and provide an exemplar methodology for such surveys in resource-limited laboratories.

METHODS: Unpreserved, unrefrigerated stool samples were subjected to Salmonella, Shigella and agar plate culture for rhabditoid nematodes. Direct microscopy, formalin-ethyl acetate concentration and iron-hematoxylin staining was performed later, following preservation.

RESULTS: Of 128 specimens received, no Shigella spp. was recovered, while four serovars of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica, including Chandans, were isolated. Pathogenic parasitic infections were Necator americanus 10/128 (7.8%), Strongyloides stercoralis 3/128 (2.8%), Blastocystis species 45/128 (35.1%), Entamoeba histolytica complex 19/128 (14.8%) and Giardia intestinalis 4/128 (3.1%). A single case each of Hymenolepis diminuta and S. mansoni infection were detected. In one participant, myxozoan spores identical to those of Myxobolus species were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Rare parasitoses and serovars of Salmonella enterica may occur relatively commonly in rural Africa. This paper describes intestinal pathogens found in a cohort of food sellers in such a setting. Furthermore, it describes two parasites rarely recovered from humans and demonstrates the need for methods other than microscopy to detect S. stercoralis infections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Animals
  • Commerce
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • Food Parasitology
  • Gambia
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic
  • Male
  • Myxobolus
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Salmonella
  • Salmonella Infections
  • Strongyloides stercoralis
  • Strongyloidiasis


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