Parasitic dermatoses as seen at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City In Nigeria



The epidemiology and associated risk factors for parasitic infections causing dermatologic lesions were studied retrospectively over a five year period (1993-1998) in Benin City Nigeria. The study population comprised one hundred and fifty six patients (84 males and 72 females) out of a total of 1665 patients who attended the dermatology clinic at the (UBTH) during the period of study. Dermatological manifestations of diagnosed parasitic infections were recorded and related to the occurrence of parasite species in microscopically studied specimens collected form patients. 9.4% of patients seen presented with various skin diseases of parasitic origin. The most prevalent parasitic disease seen was scabies 115 (73.7%); others were onchodermatitis 16(10.3%), myasis 11(7.1%), wuchereriasis (elephantiasis) 9(5.8%), cutaneous larva migrans 3(1.9) and pediculosis pubis 2(1.3%). Infection was prevalent in all age groups. Overall prevalence revealed that patients aged 15 years and below had the highest infection rate of 60 (38.5%) while the lowest infection occurred among those who were aged 60 years and above. Dermatologic parasitoses presented as chronic persistent infections, which were sometimes severe especially in children. Infection rate was significantly higher among males (53.8%) than females (46.2%) (P<0.05), symptoms included generalized skin rashes, for most infections, leopard skin in onchodermatitis and marked discomfort and disfigurement in elephantiasis. The major risks associated with these parasitic infections include socioeconomic status, age and human behavioral factors.

(Af. J. of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology: 2003 4(1): 24-30)