John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Risk of typhoid or paratyphoid fever associated with the use of wastewater in urban and peri-urban agriculture: The case of vegetable production in the city of Parakou (Benin) Volume 13, issue 5, September-October 2014


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1 Université de Parakou
Faculté de médecine
Département Mère-Enfant
Centre hospitalier départemental du Borgou
Service de pédiatrie
03 BP 09 Parakou
2 Laboratoire de phytopathologie et protection des végétaux
Faculté d’agronomie
BP 123
3 Université de Parakou
École doctorale pluridisciplinaire
BP 123
4 Laboratoire Impetus
Direction départementale de l’hydraulique Borgou-Alibori
BP 197 Parakou
5 Université d’Abomey-Calavi
Faculté des sciences de la santé
BP 188 Cotonou
6 Université de Parakou
Faculté de medicine
UERS de biochimie et de biologie moléculaire
BP 123
* Tirés à part

Urban and peri-urban agriculture is an important activity in the city of Parakou in northern Benin, where market gardeners use wastewater from shallow marshes resulting from the leaching of soils contaminated with human and animal feces. In this study, we analysed the bacterial and parasite load of the water and of vegetable products from the five largest marketing gardening sites of the city. Our main objective was to investigate the environmental causes of the continually increasing number of pediatric typhoid/paratyphoid fever cases recorded at the public reference hospital in Parakou. Analysis of samples of the water used to irrigate the vegetable crops showed a high fecal coliform count (145 to over 2,000/mL), with Escherichia coli (10 to over 2,000/mL), Salmonella enterica, and Shigella spp. We also detected Entamoeba coli, Giardia intestinalis cysts, and helminth eggs (hookworm, Hymenolepis nana) in the irrigation water, vegetables, and stool of gardeners. Furthermore, high levels of suspended solids (108 to 2,525 mg/L), nitrates (0.002 to 7.5 mg/L), and nitrites (19.5 to 67.7 mg/L) were detected. The use of wastewater leads to high levels of vegetable contamination at the various sites (especially for cabbage, large lettuce, and carrot leaves) by fecal coliforms, E. coli, and S. enterica. Despite the risks of waterborne diseases, market gardening contributes significantly to the improvement of living conditions of different categories of engaged stakeholders. Socially acceptable, environmentally sustainable and economically viable actions should be implemented by local authorities, the State, and NGOs to reduce the negative health aspects and strengthen the positive aspects of this multidimensional activity.