Prevalence of Eimeria species in local breed chickens in Gombe metropolis, Gombe State, Nigeria
Eimeria species are protozoan parasites causing coccidiosis in exotic and local breeds of chickens. Coccidiosis is the most important protozoan disease to the world poultry industry and domestic chickens are considered susceptible to seven species of Eimeria. A survey was carried out between March and May 2010 in order to determine the species of Eimeria causing coccidiosis in local breed chickens in Gombe metropolis, Gombe State, Nigeria. The Wisconsin’s faecal flotation technique was employed to analyze faecal samples obtained from 150 local breed chickens within the metropolis. The samples were examined for the presence of Emeria oocysts and 64 (42.7%) of the samples examined were positive for Eimeria oocyts. Four species of Eimeria were identified and the prevalence of infection were E. tenella 25 (39.1%), E. acervulina 18 (28.1%), E. necatrix, 12 (18.8%) and E. maxima 9 (14.1%). Higher prevalence were observed in males 29 (46.2%), young birds 34 (56.7%) and birds from the free range management system 44 (57.8%), than in females 35 (40.2%), adults 30 (32.3%) and birds from the semi intensive management system 20 (30.8%) respectively. Chi square test revealed no statistically significant differences in infections with sex, age and between the free range and semi intensive management systems. Recommendations were made based on the results obtained as to the effective control of coccidiosis in local breed chickens in Gombe metropolis.
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Keywords: Survey, Coccidia, Coccidiosis, poultry, production