UC Ozumba, N Ozumba, EM Ndiokwelu



A study aimed at establishing the occurrence of oral protozoa in a Nigeria population was carried out over a 6-month period, January 1998 to June 1998. A total of 203 dental patients attending the dental clinics of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu were involved. Scrapings of plaque were taken from the buccal surfaces of T16 and T36 (near the gingival margins) and placed on individual glass microscope slides. To each was added a drop of saline, which was mixed with the plaque and covered with a coverslip and then examined immediately. Thirty-three (16.30%) of the patients harboured protozoa in their mouths. Of these, 10 (4.9%) had Trichomonas tenax, while the majority 23 (11.3%) had Entamoeba gingivalis. No patient had both species of protozoa in their mouths. The associations of age, sex, teeth cleaning and other dental parameters with prevalence of protozoa were recorded. Our findings suggest that poor oral hygiene, calculus, old age and loss of attachment of periodontal fibers, are factors, which favour the proliferation of Entamoeba gingivalis.

African Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Microbiology Jan 2004 Vol.5 No.1 15-19