Survey of parasites in domestic pigeons (Columba livia) in Tripoli, Libya
This study was a preliminary survey for identification of parasites (endoparasites and ectoparasites) and their prevalence in domestic pigeons (Columba livia) in Tripoli; Libya. One hundred adult domestic pigeons were purchased from different markets of Tripoli. Blood smears were prepared from each bird and examined using light microscopy with oil immersion lens for the presence of blood parasites. Oropharyngeal swab was taken from each pigeon and were processed through direct smear method and staining with Giemsa to identify Trichomonas gallinae. Each pigeon was examined for ectoparasites. Moreover, intestinal parasites were investigated and all helminths were counted before being fixed in 70% ethyl alcohol for further identification. Out of 100 pigeons examined, 76% (76/100) were infected with Haemoproteus spp. and 55% (55/100) with T. gallinae. The overall prevalence of ecto–parasitic infestation was 89% (82% Columbicloa columbae, 18% Goniodes gallinae, 3% Menopon gallinae and 1% Pseudolynchia canariensis). The overall prevalence of intestinal helminths in examined pigeons were 56% (56/100). Three species of Cestoda (2% Raillietina tetragona, 32% R. echinobothrida and 4% R. cesticillus) and three species of Nematoda (18% Heterakis gallinarum., 22% Ascaridia galli and 4% Capillaria spp.) were identified. Also, this study revealed that the pigeons examined were found infected with mixed parasites. The study highlights that pigeons are hosts of helminths of veterinary importance and may act as an important source of infection for other avian host, which share the common parasitic fauna.
Keywords: Columba livia, Ectoparasite, Endoparasite, Libya, Tripoli