A comparison of four techniques for ante-mortem diagnosis of swine gastrointestinal parasitic infections
Despite pigs abundance among livestock population, Gastrointestinal parasites (GIP) have been a major constraint to porcine production in Nigeria among various diseases. However, difficulties abound in estimating parasitic burden in pigs, due to variation in daily faecal output of GIP, this is worsened by dearth of reliable and sensitive diagnostic techniques.With simple random sampling technique for three consecutive days, readily available and affordable faecal diagnostic techniques were compared using 71 pigs sampled per rectum from six different farms. Four parasitological techniques (direct smear, centrifugal flotation, formol-ethyl-acetate sedimentation, and Stoll egg counting) were employed for the diagnosis of GIP on 213 faecal samples collected. Seventy of the pigs sampled (98.6%) were positive for one or more parasites while one pig (1.4%) was negative with all diagnostic techniques used. Cysts, eggs and oocysts of ten different gastrointestinal parasites were identified: nematodes (40%), trematodes (20%), cestodes (10%) and protozoa (30%). For the three days, mean cyst per gram was 427.92±57.15 while the mean Oocyst per gram was 155.79±29.49 and mean egg per gram was 137.5± 23.52 with no statistical significance in daily output.Technique sensitivities were: Centrifugal flotation (71.98%), Stoll egg counting (71.43%), Formol-ethyl-acetate (67.40%) and direct smear (66.48%). All the concentration techniques were more sensitive for diagnosis of GIP in pigs, the strength of combining techniques for faecal analysis were discussed. The observation of some zoonotic GIP in the study area calls for proper public health awareness.