Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa

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Blood Parasites of Semi-Domesticated and Wild Birds in Kaduna State, Nigeria

A Assam, P A Abdu, E Augustine, A Salamatu


Wild birds interact with poultry with likelihood of exchange of blood parasites between the wild bird and poultry highlighting the need to understand wild bird parasites so as to reduce cross infection at the wild bird-poultry interface. There is paucity of data on blood parasites of wild birds in Kaduna State, Nigeria. This study investigates the prevalence and diversity of blood parasites among wild birds in Kaduna State. Blood of wild birds were examined from Febuary to June, 2012 for parasites by microscopic examination. Data were analyzed using Quantitative Parasitology software. Of 297 birds examined, 23.9 % had blood parasites with 39.4 % families and 39.3 % species infected. Parasites identified were Haemoproteus (7.7%), Plasmodium (16.2%), Leucocytozoon (2.7%), Aegyptionella (1.3%), and microfilariae (1.3%). There was a significant difference (p=0.0) between the prevalence of Aegyptionella, Leucocytozoon, Hemoproteus and Plasmodium. Some birds (4.1 %) had multiple blood parasite infection. Leucocytozoon was dectected in Columba livia, Streptopelia senegalensis, Meleagris gallopavo, Francolinus bicalcaratus, Hirundo aethopia and Pychonotus barbatus. Live poultry markets prevalence were Plasmodium (47.8 %), Haemoproteus (15.8 %) and Aegyptionella (2.6 %). Leucocytozoon prevalence was 4.2 % in free flying birds. Anchau had Plasmodium prevalence of 31.7 %. This study concludes that cross infection of blood parasites can occur at the wild bird-poultry interface and LWBMs encourages blood parasites transmission between countries. There is need for more studies on blood parasites of wild birds to understand their impact on the survival of wild bird species in Nigeria.

Keywords: Blood parasites, Kaduna State, Live wild bird markets, Nigeria, Wild birds

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