Arikawe Adeolu, a physician at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, on Friday said cohabiting with geckos increases one’s risk of contracting typhoid fever.
Adeolu told the News Agency of Nigeria that geckos have salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever.
He said the bacteria could be found in their urine, saliva, faeces and eggs, which they deposit in the environment where they are found.
Adeolu said the bacteria could have adverse effect on humans when ingested through food.
The physician said humans were therefore at risk of ingesting the bacteria through the use of kitchen utensils and consuming food the reptiles came in contact with.
He said: “There is a risk of transmission of infection from geckos.
“Research has shown that these geckos are laced with salmonella typhi bacteria responsible for typhoid fever.
“When their saliva, urine, faeces or egg come in contact with food, they spread the bacteria to these items and the chances of ingestion are high.
“Sometimes, they lay their eggs in your food, either raw or perishable, and you consume this without knowing because the eggs are small and cannot be seen with the bare eyes.”
The expert said research also revealed that geckos carry some form of tape warm, but added that there was no evidence to show that they could transmit any form of skin infection.
Adeolu advised that food should not be kept or stored in bags but in tightly sealed containers to keep them secure and away from rodents.
He also advised that geckos be exterminated from homes through fumigation.