Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths and anthelmintic resistance on small-scale farms in Gauteng Province, South Africa
Tendai, Charles Katsande
Tsotetsi, Ana Mbokeleng
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The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence and distribution of gastrointestinal helminths, to detect the presence of anthelmintic resistance in livestock from small-scale farms and to determine the level of helminthosis awareness among small-scale farmers in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Blood and faecal samples were collected from cattle (n = 314), sheep (n = 256) and goats (n = 311). Faecal egg counts and cultures were done, helminth genera identified and packed cell volume was assessed to detect anaemia. A faecal egg count reduction test was used to determine anthelmintic resistance against albendazole (7.5 mg/kg), levamisole (5 mg/kg) and ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg) on five small ruminant farms. A high prevalence of both nematodes and trematodes was observed; however, only 1 % of cattle had high nematode egg counts compared to goats (30 %) and sheep (32 %). Only 5 % of the animals were anaemic. Haemonchus and Calicophoron were the most dominant helminth genera in the studied ruminants. Anthelmintic resistance was detected against the three tested drugs on all the screened farms, except against albendazole and levamisole in sheep from Hammanskraal and Nigel, respectively. About 88 % of interviewed farmers were aware of veterinary helminthosis, 67 % treated against helminths and 83 % provided their livestock with nutritional supplements. This study showed that a high prevalence of helminthosis and anthelmintic resistance does occur in the study area, thus relevant strategic interventions are recommended.