The sand flea, Tunga penetrans, causes tungiasis, the detrimental skin inflammation with the potential for bacterial co-infections. It is a neglected tropical disease common among the rural poor, especially communities along the coastlines in Southwest Nigeria. There are very few studies on T. penetrans infestation in Nigeria, and no records of infestation along the sandy coastal areas of Ondo State. Therefore, the current study was carried out to examine the prevalence of T. penetrans infestation in the coastal communities of Zion Igbokoda, Kofawe and Laranda in the region of Igbokoda, Ondo State. Hands and feet of selected household members were examined, whereas fleas on different types of floors were sampled by sweeping and beating, soil collection, and extraction by tullgren funnel methods. The prevalence of tungiasis was 35.8% of the total population studied with infection more prevalent in males within 0–4 years (46.9%), 5–9 years (60.2%), 10–14 years (60%) and 60 years and above (28.1%) age groups than in females (p = 0.015). Infestation prevalence was in the order of 43.9%, 34.6% and 29.0% for Zion Igbokoda, Kofawe and Laranda, respectively. The number of flea-infested floors was 81 out of 363 examined with the greatest percentage infestation in houses that had earthen floored rooms and verandas. The high prevalence recorded in this study is capable of affecting the socio-economic well-being of the Igbokoda community. Therefore, a well-designed intervention measure involving concrete flooring of houses is suggested in order to ameliorate infestation burdens.
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Vol. 56 • No. 2