Parasitology Research

, 105:393 | Cite as

Presence of parasitic protozoa and helminth in sewage and efficiency of sewage treatment in Tunisia

  • L. Ben AyedEmail author
  • J. Schijven
  • Z. Alouini
  • M. Jemli
  • S. Sabbahi
Original Paper


Helminth eggs and protozoan cysts were enumerated in raw and treated wastewater in Tunisia in order to determine their removal by wastewater treatment and to provide quantitative data for developing regulations for wastewater quality that are currently lacking. Raw and treated wastewater samples were collected from 17 plants in Tunisia during 2006–2007 and analyzed for parasites using the modified Bailenger method. Two groups of parasites, namely, Ascaris sp., Entamoeba coli, Enterobius vermicularis, and Taenia sp. (group 1) and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia sp., and Taenia sp. (group 2) could statistically be distinguished according to their removal by wastewater treatment. Group 1 parasites were removed by 1.1 log10 (92.4%) and group 2 parasites by 0.61 log10 (76%). The ubiquitous presence of parasitic protozoa in Tunisian wastewater and ineffective wastewater treatment lead to their proliferation in surface waters with a high probability of exposure of human and animals to these parasites and consequent adverse health effects, as is apparent from epidemiologic data as well. This study provides a quantitative basis for risk assessment studies and development of mitigation strategies, such as improving wastewater treatment efficiency.


Ascaris Wastewater Sample Cryptosporidium Oocyst Sewage Sample Wastewater Reuse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Ben Ayed
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. Schijven
    • 3
  • Z. Alouini
    • 1
  • M. Jemli
    • 1
  • S. Sabbahi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de parasitologie des eaux usées et des boues résiduairesInstitut National de Recherche en Génie RuralArianaTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratoire Sciences et Techniques de l’EauInstitut Agronomique de TunisieMahrajèneTunisia
  3. 3.Expert Centre for Methodology and Information ServicesNational Institute of Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenThe Netherlands

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