Jeandron, Aurelie3; Ensink, Jeroen H. J.3; Thamsborg, Stig Milan4; Dalsgaard, Anders5; Sengupta, Mita Eva4
1 Parasitology and Aquatic Diseases, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Food Safety and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine4 Parasitology and Aquatic Diseases, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Food Safety and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The importance of hands in the transmission of soil transmitted helminths, especially Ascaris and Trichuris infections, is under-researched. This is partly because of the absence of a reliable method to quantify the number of eggs on hands. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a method to assess the number of Ascaris eggs on hands and determine the egg recovery rate of the method. Under laboratory conditions, hands were seeded with a known number of Ascaris eggs, air dried and washed in a plastic bag retaining the washing water, in order to determine recovery rates of eggs for four different detergents (cationic [benzethonium chloride 0.1% and cetylpyridinium chloride CPC 0.1%], anionic [7X 1% - quadrafos, glycol ether, and dioctyl sulfoccinate sodium salt] and non-ionic [Tween80 0.1% -polyethylene glycol sorbitan monooleate]) and two egg detection methods (McMaster technique and FLOTAC). A modified concentration McMaster technique showed the highest egg recovery rate from bags. Two of the four diluted detergents (benzethonium chloride 0.1% and 7X 1%) also showed a higher egg recovery rate and were then compared with de-ionized water for recovery of helminth eggs from hands. The highest recovery rate (95.6%) was achieved with a hand rinse performed with 7X 1%. Washing hands with de-ionized water resulted in an egg recovery rate of 82.7%. This washing method performed with a low concentration of detergent offers potential for quantitative investigation of contamination of hands with Ascaris eggs and of their role in human infection. Follow-up studies are needed that validate the hand washing method under field conditions, e.g. including people of different age, lower levels of contamination and various levels of hand cleanliness.