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Prevalence and risk factors associated with gastrointestinal parasites in ruminant livestock in the Coastal Savannah zone of Ghana

Squire, S.A., Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752, Yang, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2563-2015, Ayi, I. and Ryan, U.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 (2019) Prevalence and risk factors associated with gastrointestinal parasites in ruminant livestock in the Coastal Savannah zone of Ghana. Acta Tropica, 199 . Article 105126.

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Gastrointestinal (GIT) parasite infections result in significant economic losses to ruminant livestock production. To determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with GIT parasite infections in livestock from Ghana, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in cattle and small ruminants kept under different management systems in the Coastal Savannah zone from October 2014 to February 2015. Faecal samples were collected from 328 cattle and 502 small ruminants (sheep and goats) and examined by formal ether concentration microscopy. The management systems and environmental conditions of the farm or household were observed, and a questionnaire administered to the livestock owners. Overall, 90.8% (754/830) of livestock were infected with at least one of ten different parasites (Eimeria, Strongylid nematodes, Toxocara, Trichuris, Schistosoma, Dicrocoelium, Paramphistomum, Fasciola, Moniezia and Thysaniezia), with Eimeria the most prevalent (78.4%). Most (64.5%) livestock had coinfections with two to five parasites with parasite intensity mostly light and at least one parasite was found in 98.6% (140/142) of the herds. Binary logistic regression models were generated to assess the risk factors associated with infection. Earthen floor was positively associated with strongylid infection, multiple ruminant species with Paramphistomum infection and flock size (>25 animal) with Thysaniezia, Dicrocoelium and Fasciola infections. Separating young animals from older animals was negatively associated with Strongylid infection, feed supplementation with Thysaniezia infection and small ruminant species with Paramphistomum and Toxocara infections. The findings from this study suggests that good sanitation, proper husbandry practices and improved nutrition can improve livestock health and production in Ghana.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
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