Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1355–1363 | Cite as

Cross-sectional prevalence of Fasciola gigantica infections in beef cattle in Botswana

  • M. Ernest MochankanaEmail author
  • Ian D. Robertson
Regular Articles


A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence and distribution of Fasciola gigantica infections in communally grazed and ranch-grazed beef cattle through coprological examination. A total of 8646 cattle (4618 adults, 2843 weaners and 1185 calves) faecal samples were collected during the 24 months of study. Results from this study indicated that only 64 (0.74%; 95% CI 0.57, 0.94%) of the samples were positive for F. gigantica eggs. The positive samples were detected in one (Central) of the six study districts and was restricted to the Tuli Block (commercial) farms in Machaneng village in eastern Botswana. The prevalence of fluke eggs was significantly higher in adult cattle (12.85%; 95% CI 9.72, 16.54%) than weaners (6.49%; 95% CI 3.40, 11.06%) and calves (0.79%; 95% CI 0.02, 4.31%), (χ2(2) = 19.01, p < 0.001). Thus, adults (OR = 18.57; 95% CI 2.54, 135.81%) were approximately 20 times more likely to be infected than calves. By taking liver inspection as a gold standard for diagnosis of fasciolosis, the sensitivity of the sedimentation technique was found to be 72.41% and the specificity 100%, with moderate relationship (κ = 0.53; 95% CI 0.31–0.75) between the two methods. This study has demonstrated that infection of cattle from Botswana, with F. gigantica, was low and distribution of the fluke appeared to be linked to suitable environmental conditions for the intermediate host snail. However, detailed surveillance studies, involving more cattle and areas, are required to verify the true prevalence. Such information would assist in the design of appropriate, strategic and effective fluke control programmes.


Beef cattle Botswana Coprology Fasciola gigantica Prevalence 



The authors would like to thank Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Murdoch University for the financial support they provided for this study. We are also grateful to the District Veterinary Officers and Field Assistants in Botswana for the field work assistance rendered, and the farmers for their kindness and cooperation during this study. We would like also thank the Department of Meteorological Services in Gaborone for their kindness in providing climatic data of the districts included in the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by Murdoch University Research Animal Ethics Committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary and Life SciencesMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesGaboroneBotswana

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