Coccidiosis of village scanvenging fowls in Abiriba, Abia State, Nigeria
Coccidiosis is a major parasitic disease that impacts on dietary protein and food security in Nigeria. A study to determine the prevalence of coccidiosis in free-range fowls was carried out in Abiriba, Ohafia L.G.A. of Abia State. Samples were collected in sterile vials and analyzed using the concentration technique. Of the 140 randomly collected faecal samples, an overall 59(47.0%) were positive (p<0.05; =0.013i68). However, community specific prevalence indicated 28(20.0%) and 31(22.14%) occurrences (p>0.05,=0.72869) in Amogudu and Aneke communities respectively. Age specific-prevalence declined as age of the birds increased with 1-6 weeks birds having 44.06% prevalence, 7-16 (33.89%) and 16+ aged birds having 13(22.03%) prevalence. There was no significant difference (P>0.05; =0.16605)) in parasite load between the sexes in the study. The build-up of immunity in older birds was attributed to consistent presentations of infective oocytes to the birds during feeding. Parasite load in individual birds did not manifest clinical symptoms in the birds. The cultural practice of free ranging of fowls is a weak link to the control of coccidiosis in Abriba community due to the constant exposure of susceptible chicks to viable infective oocysts.
Keywords: Age-specific prevalence, immunity, parasite load, infective oocytes