Parasitic Load of Cattle Faecal Matter from Selected Farms in Kpong and its Health Implications
Cattle, one of the domesticated animals which are a potential source of parasitic contamination of land and water resources were studied to establish the parasitic load as a measure of quantifying the biological quality of land and water sources to determine the level of parasite load of the environment. A total of 180 faecal samples were collected from three farms in Kpong in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality for the study. The samples were collected between 9 - 10 am when the animals released from kraal to be grazed and the faecal matter were collected as soon as it was dropped on the ground. The samples were collected with wide mouth plastic containers (about 500 ml) with lid. Samples were transported to the Water Research Institute Parasitology Laboratory for analysis. 10 g sample each was placed in a test tube and 10 ml of PBS was added to it. It was then processed and a drop was placed on a microscope slide and Lugol's iodine was added and observed under X 40 objective lens of the microscope. A total of 111 (61.67 %) out of the 180 faecal samples were found to contain the following parasites whilst 95 (85.59 %) had Ascaris sp., eight (7.20 %) had Strongyloides sp., one (0.90 %) had Trichuris erichiun and one (0.90 %) sample had Paragonimus sp. Five (4.50 %) samples had mix infections of Ascaris sp and Strongyloides sp. And 1 (0.90 %) sample had a mixture of Ascaris sp and T. berichiun. Infestation with Ascaris sp was found to be significantly higher (p > 0.001) than all the other parasites indicating that the animals are not often given worm expellants as expected and this can lead to zoonotic transmission of the parasite, as the cattle are reared on the same compound with the humans. This can affect the health of children as they played in the dung contaminated soils in their compound, thereby leading to absenteeism from school due to loss of blood from worm infestation leading to anaemia. The worm infestation can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth in the children.