Gastrointestinal Parasite Infections Of Sheep And Goats In A Semi-arid Area Of Machakos District, Kenya
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A survey of gastrointestinal parasite and liver fluke infections of small ruminants was conducted for 18 months on two farms in Kathiani Division of Machakos District, Kenya. The effects of host species, season and age on the prevalence and intensity of helminth and coccidia infections were determined. Faecal parasite egg and oocyst counts revealed that the overall prevalences were : strongyles (51.6%), liver flukes (Fasciola) (31.5%), coccidia (28.0%) and tapeworms of Moniezia spp. (2.5%). In both host species, Haemonchus (58.0%) was the most prevalent nematode followed by Trichostrongylus (29.0%) and Oesophagostomum (13.0%). In sheep, a total of eight species of Eimeria were identified, the most prevalent being E. ovina (47.4%) and E. ovinoidalis (32.3%). In goat samples, seven species were identified, the commonest being E. ninakohlyakimovae (45.9%) followed by E. arloingi (26.1%). The prevalence of strongyle and liver fluke infections, and oocyst counts in sheep were significantly (p<0.05) higher than in goats. Rainy season prevalence of strongyle and coccidia infections were significantly (p<0.05) higher than for the dry season, while the dry season prevalence of liver fluke infection was significantly (p<0.05) higher than for the wet season. The prevalence and intensity of cocidia infection were significantly (p< 0.05) higher in young than in adult animals.