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Cross-sectional Prevalence of Helminth Infections in Cattle on Traditional, Small-scale and Large-scale Dairy Farms in Iringa District, Tanzania

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Abstract

A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes and flukes (Fasciola and amphistomes) infection in communally grazed traditional cattle, zero-grazed small-scale dairy cattle and intensively grazed large-scale dairy cattle through examination of helminth eggs in faeces. Results indicated that the type of management, especially the grazing habit, has a significant influence on the prevalence and intensity of GI nematodes and flukes. The prevalence of GI nematodes in traditional, large-scale dairy and small-scale dairy cattle was 67%, 44.4% and 37%, respectively, with the highest faecal egg counts in calves. The overall prevalence of Fasciola gigantica in traditional, large-scale dairy and small-scale dairy cattle was 63.8%, 46.2% and 28.4%, respectively. The prevalence of amphistomes was 81.9%, 55.5% and 41.1% in traditional, large-scale dairy and small-scale dairy cattle, respectively. The high prevalence of flukes in the traditional system was attributed to communal grazing and watering management practices. Stomach flukes recovered in examined cattle at the abattoir were Calicophoron microbothrium and Cotylophoron jacksoni. About 42.1% of infected animals had both Fasciola and amphistomes. The prevalence of both GI nematodes and flukes varied greatly among villages and farms. The prevalence of both Fasciola and amphistomes was higher in adults (58.5%, 75.2%) than in yearlings (36.5%, 51.5%) or calves (24.9%, 47.2%). The variation in the prevalence of both GI nematodes and flukes among management and age groups within systems can be used as an entry point towards rational use of anthelmintics for each management system. More studies on seasonal transmission pattern of all these parasites are required in order to design rational, economic and locally sustainable parasite control programmes.

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Abbreviations

df:

degrees of freedom

epg:

eggs per gram

FEC:

faecal egg count

GI:

gastrointestinal

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Keyyu, J.D., Kassuku, A.A., Msalilwa, L.P. et al. Cross-sectional Prevalence of Helminth Infections in Cattle on Traditional, Small-scale and Large-scale Dairy Farms in Iringa District, Tanzania. Vet Res Commun 30, 45–55 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-005-3176-1

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