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Prevalence of calf coccidiosis in Mekelle, northern Ethiopia

Beyenech Gebeyehu
Etsay Kebede
Tsegabirhan Kifleyohannes
Nigus Abebe
Niraj Kumar


A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2015 to March 2016 with the objectives of estimating the prevalence of coccidiosis, identifying the most known pathogenic coccidia species involved, and assessing the overall knowledge of dairy farm owners and workers on calve coccidiosis and adapted control methods in randomly selected 7 kebeles of Mekelle dairy farms. Two hundred thirty two fecal samples were randomly collected from calves belonging to seventy dairy farms and examined for the presence of oocysts of Eimeria by floatation technique using saturated salt solution. For positive samples, solution of 2.5% potassium dichromate was added to the feces containing the oocyst for sporulation and identification of the Eimeria species. The risk factors and the overall knowledge on calf coccidiosis and adapted control methods were assessed by two types of questionnaires and a prepared observational format. The overall prevalence of coccidiosis was 72.7% (169/232) and the identified Eimeria species were E. bovis and E. zuernii with the prevalence of 26.6% (45) and 11.2% (19); respectively. There was statistically significant difference (p< 0.05) among various age categories with the infection of Eimeria species. However, sex and body condition of animals were not significantly associated (p > 0.05) with Eimeria infection. Questioner survey result of animal health experts and owners showed 33 calves were suspected to be infected with pathogenic Eimeria spp. In conclusion, the study revealed that calf coccidiosis is prevalent in dairy farms of Mekelle. Hence, appropriate disease prevention and control program need to be undertaken to reduce its impact.

Keywords: Calve; Coccidiosis; Eimeria; Mekelle; Prevalence; Risk factors

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eISSN: 2221-5034
print ISSN: 1683-6324