Prevalence and risk factors for Ascaris and Cryptosporidium infestations in smallholder pigs in Ulanga district, Tanzania
Diseases in particular parasitic infestation is among the drawbacks to profitable pig production since parasites compromise the production and reproduction performance of infested pigs. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and associated risk factors for Ascaris and Cryptosporidium infestations in pigs reared under smallholder farming systems in Ulanga District, Tanzania. A total of 243 pigs were selected for faecal sample examination using floatation and Modified Ziehl – Neelsen techniques. Questionnaire survey was conducted to 48 smallholder pig farmers to assess knowledge, perceptions and practices (KPPs) in relation to GIT (GIT) parasite infestations in pigs. Results showed that prevalence of Ascaris infestation was 11.5% and that of Cryptosporidium was 11.9%. Factors such age, feeding system, housing and shairing of breeding boars were statistically significant (p < 0.05) as risk factors for Ascaris and Cryptosporidium infestation. The respondents had poor knowledge on GIT parasites and the pig farming practices predisposes pigs to GIT parasite infestations. Therefore, GIT parasites are common in intensively managed pigs in Ulanga district. Proper control measures of GIT parasites are recommended; which include good management system especially to young pigs, better feeding, housing, breeding systems and disposal of manure.
Keywords: Ascaris, Cryptosporidium, pigs, smallholder farmers, GIT parasites