Point prevalence and pathology associated with gastrointestinal parasites in local chickens and guinea fowls in Kumasi, Ghana
This study determines the gastrointestinal parasite species and their associated gross lesions in local chickens and guinea fowls in the Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. A total of 213 intestinal tracts (178 from guinea fowls and 35 from local chickens) were obtained from two slaughter points within the Kumasi Metropolis. Faecal samples were analyzed using the McMaster technique to estimate the parasite burden. Adult worms were identified and gross lesions within the intestinal tract were also evaluated. In this study, 21 helminth parasites were identified in the guinea fowls and 19 were identified in the local chickens. Trematodes were rarely encountered in the study and coccidian parasites were not differentiated. Overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was 98.8% in the guinea fowls and 91.4% in the local chickens. Ascaridia sp. was the most prevalent helminth in both animals (79.2% and 54.3% respectively). Gross lesions occurred more in the small intestines and in various combinations of haemorrhage, thickening, nodules and necrosis were characteristics of the parasites identified in the study. Histologically, there was villous atrophy and necrotising enteritis. Given the economic and immunological cost of endo-parasitism, tackling the problem of gastrointestinal parasitism can significantly reduce the productivity losses in the family poultry sector.
Keywords: Diagnosis; gastrointestinal parasites; poultry; Ghana.