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Gastrointestinal helminths of the domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica gmelin, 1789 aves:columbidae) in Zaria, northern Nigeria.

K.L Adang, S.L Oniye, O.J Ajanusi, A.U Ezealor, P.A Abdu


The gastro-intestinal tracts of 240 Columba livia domestica were examined parasitologically for helminths aimed at providing information on their species composition, prevalence and distribution in Zaria area, northern Nigeria. Of these, 116 (48.3%) were infected by 9 species of helminths, comprising 6 species of cestodes and 3 species of nematodes. The infection with cestode species was in the order Raillietina tetragona 65 (27.1%), R. echinobothrida 26 (10.6%), Hymenolepis cantaniana 4 (1.7%), Hymenolepis carioca 3 (1.3%), R. cesticillus 1 (0.45%), and Amoebotaenia cuneata 2 (0.83%). Raillietina tetragona was the most prevalent cestodes recovered throughout the 12 months of the survey period. The three nematodes encountered were Ascaridia columbae 27 (11.3%), A. galli 8 (3.3%) and Heterakis gallinarum 8 (3.3%). Ascaridia columbae which was the most prevalent nematode was recovered in 9 out of the 12 months of the year. Single infection was more common (37.5%) than double 24 (10%) and triple infections (0.83%). More infection was observed during the wet season (June and September).

Keywords: Helminths, Prevalence, Domestic Pigeon, Columba livia domestica, Zaria, Nigeria.
AJOL African Journals Online