Alternative staining using extracts of hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) and red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) in diagnosing ova of intestinal nematodes (Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides)
Chew Weng Cheng, Suhana Md Saad, Rosida Abdullah
Parasitic infections prevail millions of the people globally and frightful suffering and mortality, especially in the population where access to health care is constrained. At present, the wet mount procedure is widely employed due to its economical and rapid diagnosis for intestinal parasites. Distilled water and ethanol extracts of two plants namely hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) and red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) were used to stain ova of intestinal nematodes (Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides). These extracts were used as alternative stains against Lugol’s iodine in wet mount procedure for diagnosing ova of intestinal nematodes. Hibiscus dye was extracted from the flowers while red beet dye was extracted from the roots. Both dyes were extracted using distilled water and ethanol. The ethanol extracts were made with two different percentages, 50% and 80%. The study emphasized on the ability of each stain to demonstrate the presence of intestinal nematodes ova in the faecal samples and to clearly define their morphology. The colour stability of each stain was also evaluated. Generally, ethanol extracts stained better than distilled water extracts. 50% ethanol extraction of hibiscus gave the superior staining result when compared with 50% ethanol extraction of red beet. 80% ethanol extractions of both plants stained darkly on the ova of intestinal nematodes which interfered the identification. Distilled water extraction was the poorest staining dye which stained faintly on the ova of intestinal nematodes. On the stability of colouration, the colour intensity of hibiscus and red beet began to fade after five minutes. In conclusion, 50% ethanol extraction of hibiscus has the potential to be used as a staining agent in diagnostic parasitology.