Prevalence of helminth parasites of domestic pigeons (Columba livia) in Jalingo Metropolis, Taraba State
A study was conducted to determine the gastrointestinal helminth parasites in domestic pigeons (Columba livia) in Jalingo Metropolis, Taraba State. Sixty pigeons made up of 35 males and 25 females were selected, slaughtered and the gastrointestinal tract examined for the presence of helminth parasites using standard parasitological methods. Forty- seven birds (78.3%) were found to harbour single or multiple infections. Of the total infection, 43.3% were due to nematode parasites while 35.0% were caused by parasitic cestodes. Nematode parasites recorded were Ascaridia columbae (20.0%), Ascaridia galli (11.7%), Heterakis gallinarium (10.0%) and Capillaria spp. (5.0%) while Raillietina tetragona (18.3%), Hymenolepsis columbae (13.3%) and Rallietina cesticilus (3.3%) were the only parasitic cestodes recorded. Prevalence of these helminthes was significantly higher (p<0.05) in male (55.0%) than in female (23.3%) birds. Similarly, adult pigeons recorded higher prevalence (68.3%) than young pigeons (10.0%) (p<0.05). The intensity of worm infection by the different helminth parasite as reflected by the mean worm burden showed that pigeons infected with Hymenolepsis columbae had the highest mean worm burden (6 ± 0.9922) among the parasitic cestodes, while those infected with Ascaridia galli and Ascaridia columbae had the highest mean worm burden (05 ± 1.2936 and 05 ± 1.4697) among the nematodes recovered. The lowest mean worm burden (02 ± 0.6166) among the entire helminth parasites recovered was recorded in the pigeons infected with Rallietina tetragona.
Keywords: Prevalence; helminth parasites; domestic pigeons; post mortem; Jalingo Metropolis.