Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of rams brought into Abeokuta small ruminants markets in preparation for a festive season
In an effort to gain a better understanding into the role played by food animals in the epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites, we assessed the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in different breeds of rams brought into Abeokuta during a festive season by microscopic examination of faecal samples. A total of 206 rams of different breeds were randomly sampled. The faecal samples collected were subjected to simple floatation and sedimentation tests. McMaster egg counting technique was used to estimate the faecal oocyst load in positive samples. Overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was 51.46%. There was significant (p < 0.05) difference between the prevalence of Eimeria spp (37.38%)and helminth eggs (13.59%).Among the 29 samples that tested positive for helminth eggs, 6 (20.7%), 19 (65.5%) and 4 (13.8%) were cestode, nematode and trematode eggs, respectively. The genera of nematodes eggs identified include Strongyloides spp, Haemonchus spp, Mashallagia spp, Bunostomum spp, Ascaris spp, Dictyocaulus spp, Gongylonema spp and Ostergia spp; trematodes were Fasciola spp and Dicrocoelium spp while cestodes were Moniezia spp and Avitellinaspp. The only protozoan parasite identified was Eimeria spp. This study has clearly shown that rams brought to Abeokuta during festive seasons carry different gastrointestinal parasites of which Eimeria spp had the largest share. Parasites of zoonotic importance (Fasciola and Moniezia) were also detected. Therefore, there is need for regular screening of animals being introduced from one state to the other and also from neighbouring countries for effective monitoring and control of parasitic diseases in domestic animals and human population.
Keywords: GIT parasite, ram, helminth, protozoan.