• Sandra G. Okere
  • Florence O. Nduka
  • Kome Otokunefor
Keywords: Molecular techniques, Nigeria, Protozoan parasites, Water, WHO


Drinking water or potable water also known as improved drinking water is said to be any water that is free from physical, chemical, biological or radiological form of contamination. Water samples were collected from 5 rivers in Omuchi Aluu, Choba, Chokocho, Oyigbo, and Aleto communities, in Rivers State, Nigeria, used for activities such as washing, bathing, fishing, and dredging by community indigenes. Water samples were collected from various sampling stations and, transported to the laboratory, African Biosciences, Ibadan for analysis to characterize and identify the protozoan parasites using molecular techniques. This study aimed at characterizing the genotype of protozoan parasites of water from selected rivers in River State, Nigeria, using molecular methods to check for portability and purity of water. DNA Primers of five protozoan parasites, Giardia species, Entamoeba species, Cryptosporidium species, Cyclospora species, and Toxoplasma species were used to analyze and detect the presence of the genes of these protozoans. The study showed the presence of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium parvuum, and the absence of Entamoeba histolytica, Cyclospora cayetanensis, and Toxoplasma gondii from the water samples collected from Omuchi Aluu, Choba, Chokocho, Oyigbo, and Aleto rivers. It was concluded that water samples collected from rivers contaminated with parasites, is unsuitable for drinking, hence community locals should be sensitized to embark on good water sanitary and hygiene (WASH) practices, for a healthy life and sustainable environment.


Angelici, M. C. and Karanis, P. (2019). Protozoan Waterborne Infections in the Context of Actual Climatic Changes and Extreme Weather Events. DOI:

Ani, O. and Itibia, O. (2015). Evaluation of parasitic contamination from local sources of drinking-water in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Parasitology, 36 (2), 153-158.

Barudin, M.A., Md-Isa, M.L., Othman, N., Yusof, A.M. (2017). First molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium from three different points of two main rivers in Kuantan, Malaysia using 18S rRNA gene nested PCR, Asian PacificJ. Trop. Dis. 7 (9): 548–552. DOI:

Ehsan, A., Geurden, T., Casaert, S., Paulussen, J., De Coster, L., Schoemaker, T., Claerebou, E. (2015). Occurrence and potential health risk of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in different water catchments in Belgium, Envir. mon and asses. 187 (2):6. DOI:

Falohun, O. O., Ayinmode, A. B. and Adejinmi, J. O. (2021). Molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium isolates from rivers, water treatment plants and abattoirs in Ibadan, Nigeria. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 101577 (74): 3-6. DOI:

Feng, Y., Zhao, X., Chen, J., Jin, W., Zhou, X., Li, N., . . . Xiao, L. (2011). Occurrence, source, and human infection potential of Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. in source and tap water in Shanghai, China. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 77 (11), 3609-3616. DOI:

Gilbride, K. (2014). Molecular methods for the detection of waterborne pathogens. In Waterborne Pathogens (page 231-290): Elsevier. DOI:

Gyang, P., Uzoigwe, N., and Ayim, J. (2017). Evaluation of Local Drinking Water Sources to Determine their Possible Contamination with Parasite in Lafia Local Government Area Nasarawa State, Nigeria. European Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 4 (1), 63-68. Retrieved from

Ifi, F., Enerijiofi, K. E. and Ekhaise, F. O. (2019). Investigation of the Physicochemical and Bacteriological Qualities of Okokpon River, Edo State, Nigeria for its Portability Status. FUDMA Journal of Sciences (FJS), 3 (2): 185 - 194.

Higuera, A., Villamizar, X., Herrera, G., Giraldo, J. C., Vasquez-A, L. R., Urbano, P., Villalobos, O., Tovar, C., Ramírez, J. D. (2020). Molecular detection and genotyping of intestinal protozoa from different biogeographical regions of Colombia. PeerJ 8: e8554:1-26. DOI 10.7717/peerj.855aciones Microbiológicas-UR (GIMUR). DOI:

Kalpana, S., Bagudo, A. and Aliero, A. (2011). Microbiological analysis of sachet drinking water marketed at two sites in Aliero, Kebbi State, Nigeria. Continental Journal of Microbiology, 5 (1), 29-36.

Kumar, T., Abd Majid, M. A., Onichandran, S., Jaturas, N., Andiappan, H., Salibay, C. C., . . . Tangpong, J. (2016). Presence of Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia in water samples from Southeast Asia: towards an integrated water detection system. Infectious diseases of poverty, 5(1), 3. DOI:

Mahmoudi, M.R., Kazemi, B., Mohammadiha, A., Mirzaei, A., Karanis, P. (2013). Detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo) cysts by IFA, PCR and LAMP in surface water from Rasht, Iran, Trans of the Royal Society of Trop Med and Hyg. 107 (8): 511–517. DOI:

Mahmoudi, M. R., Nazemalhosseini-Mojarad, E. and Karanis, P. (2015). Genotyping of Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba spp from river waters in Iran, Parasitol Res 114:4565–4570. DOI:

Rahmanian, N., Ali, S. H. B., Homayoonfard, M., Ali, N., Rehan, M., Sadef, Y., & Nizami, A. (2015). Analysis of physiochemical parameters to evaluate the drinking water quality in the State of Perak, Malaysia. Journal of Chemistry, 2015. DOI:

Sánchez, A., Munoz, M., Gómez, N., Tabares, J., Segura, L., Salazar, Á., . . . Qian, Y. (2017). Molecular epidemiology of Giardia, Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium among indigenous children from the Colombian Amazon Basin. Frontiers in microbiology, 8, 248. DOI:

Sánchez, C., López, M. C., Galeano, L. A., Qvarnstrom, Y., Houghton, K., & Ramírez, J. D. (2018). Molecular detection and genotyping of pathogenic protozoan parasites in raw and treated water samples from southwest Colombia. Parasites & vectors, 11(1), 1-11. DOI:

Srivastava, K. R., Awasthi, S., Mishra, P. K. and Srivastava, P. K. (2020). Biosensors/molecular tools for detection of waterborne pathogens. In Waterborne Pathogens (page 237-277): Elsevier. DOI:

Tamura, K., Stecher, G., Peterson, D., Filipski, A. and Kumar, S. (2013). MEGA6: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 6.0. Molecular biology and evolution, 30 (12), 2725-2729. DOI:

Toze, S. (1999). A Review on PCR and the Detection of Microbial Pathogens in Water and Wastewater. Wat. Res., 33 (17): 3545-3556, 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Printed in Great Britain 0043-1354/99 DOI:

Zolgharnein, H., Azmi, M. L. M., Saad, M. Z., Mutalib, A. R. and Mohammed, C. A. R. (2007). Detection of plasmids in heavy metal resistance bacteria isolated from the Persian-gulf and enclosed industrial areas. Iranian Journal of Biotechnology 5(4): 232 – 239.

How to Cite