Preliminary study of the epidemiology of ectoparasite infestation of goats and sheep in Makurdi, north central Nigeria

  • RA Ofukwu
  • CI Ogbaje
  • CA Akwuobu
Keywords: Epidemiology, Ectoparasite infestation, Ruminants, Makurdi, Nigeria


A total of 416 sheep and 624 goats under different management systems in Makurdi and its environs were examined for ectoparasite infestation for a period of 6 months, October, 2003 to March, 2004. Ninety one (21.9%) of the sheep and 149 (23.9%) of the goats were infested with various types of ectoparasites. The ectoparasites identified, and the number of sheep infested were ticks, 37 (8.9%), fleas, 20 (4.8%), lice, 18 (4.3%) and mites, 16 (3.8%). For goats, these were, ticks, 47 (7.5%), fleas, 34 (5.4%), lice, 39 (6.3%) and mites 29 (4.6%). The commonest species of ticks encountered were, Rhipicephalus evertis and Amblyoma variegatum while that of mites were Psoroptes communis and Sarcoptes species. The genera of lice recovered were Linognathus species and Bovicola species. Ctenocephalidis felis was the only species of fleas observed. Sex, age or breed of goat was not a significant factor (P > 0.05) in the ectoparasite infestation. However, a significant difference (P < 0.05) was recorded in breed distribution of ectoparasite infestation in sheep with Yankassa being the most affected followed by West African dwarf. The level of infestation was highest in extensive (24%) and lowest in intensive (7.2%) systems of management. Routine and strategic control measures should be employed to improve the health of these ruminants in order to minimize the expected profit of production and reduce cases of vector-borne diseases in the animals and handlers.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-093X
print ISSN: 1595-093X