The effect of water sources, nutritional qualities and management systems on the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections in ruminants in Benue State, Nigeria
Parasitic helminth infections are a frequent burden to livestock farmers. In this study, some domestic ruminants were examined for gastrointestinal helminth infections at some locations in Benue State Nigeria. Six hundred faecal samples were collected per rectum from cattle, goat and sheep in Makurdi, Guma and Gboko. The faeces were analysed using Concentration Method, and direct microscopic examination of helminth parasites. Data were also obtained on the source of drinking water, feeding, and the management system used to keep the ruminants. The results showed that 43.7% of all animals were infected. The species of helminth parasites identified were Strongyloides spp. 74.8% Haemonchus spp., 11.8% while Monieza spp., Trichuris spp., Taenia spp.,Fasciola spp., Ascaris spp., and Toxocara spp., constituted 13.4%. Helminths infection was associated with the type of animal (p = 0.01), the source of drinking water (p < 0.001), food, and the management system (p<0.001), but not the sampled locations (p = 0.98). It was concluded that improved management practices, provision of good quality food and clean drinking water significantly reduced the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths infection in ruminants in Benue State, Nigeria.
Keywords: gastrointestinal helminths, parasites, ruminants, livestock