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Epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites of cattle from selected locations in Southern Ghana

Squire, S.A., Amafu-Dey, H. and Beyuo, J. (2013) Epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites of cattle from selected locations in Southern Ghana. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 25 (7).

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A cross-sectional study was conducted to establish the prevalence and intensity of gastrointestinal parasites of cattle from two institutional farms located in the Coastal Savanna and Transitional zones of Southern Ghana. A total of 309 (different ages, sex and breed) faecal samples were examined using the McMaster and sedimentation techniques. Overall, the cattle showed a very high prevalence (95.5%) of parasite infections. Out of this percentage, 75.1% had multiple parasites whiles 20.4% had a single parasite infection. Prevalence of Strongyles (63.1%) was highest, followed by Fasciola (51.1%), Dicrocoelium (39.8%), Eimeria (29.4%), Paramphistomum (25.9%), Schistosoma (21.7%), Ascaris (6.1%) and then Moniezia (2.3%). Strongyles, Ascaris, Moniezia and Eimeria infections were significantly higher (p<0.05) in the calves (0-12 months old) whiles Fasciola, Paramphistomum, and Schistosoma infections were higher (p<0.005) in the adults (>24 months old). In general, most of the animals had low intensity (<500EPG / <10EPC) of infection. There was a wide range of nematodes, cestode and protozoa egg counts (0-47200 OPG, 0-40200 EPG and 0-246000 EPG, respectively). The range of trematodes egg count was 0-52EPC. A wide variety of gastrointestinal parasites were prevalent among cattle in the study area. For effective treatment and control, the variability of parasites would have to be considered. Also, further studies on gastrointestinal parasites dynamics, distribution and impact are proposed.

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