Prevalence and spectrum of helminths in free-ranging African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) in wildlife protected areas, Tanzania
Journal of Coastal Life Medicine
Objective: To determine the prevalence and spectrum of helminths in free-ranging African buffaloes in Tanzania by a cross-sectional study. Methods: Faecal samples (n=123) from Arusha National Park and Ngorongoro Crater were examined for helminth eggs using sedimentation and floatation techniques during the period of March to June 2012. Results: Coprological examination revealed that 34.1% (n=42) of the buffaloes excreted nematodes and trematodes eggs and protozoan oocyst in their faces. The
... heir faces. The pattern of infection was either single or mixed. Single (52.4%) and concurrent infections with two, three, four and five parasites were recorded in 19.0%, 11.9%, 14.3% and 2.3% respectively of the cases. The nematode eggs encountered were those of Trichostrongylus sp. (20.3%), Oesophagostomum sp. (7.3%), Strongyle sp. (4.1%), Bunostomum sp. (4.1%), Ostertegia sp. (3.3%) and Toxocara sp. (2.4%). The trematode eggs encountered were those of Fasciola sp. (9.8%), Paramphistomum sp. (4.9%), Gastrothylax sp. (1.6%), Ornithobilharzia sp. (0.81%) and Fischoederius sp (0.81%). The protozoan oocyst recorded was that of Eimeria sp. (8.1%). Geographical location of buffaloes had significant influence on the prevalence of infection with Trichostrongylus (P=0.046) and Fasciola (P=0.001), and the mean prevalances in Arusha National Park are significantly higher than those in Ngorongoro Crater. Age had significant influence on infection with Fasciola (P=0.036), and juvenile recorded higher levels of infection than sub-adults. Health status, body condition score and sex-wise prevalence of helminths were not significant (P>0.05). Conclusions: This study indicates that helminths species are numerous and highly prevalent in the two protected areas and may be one of the contributing factors to lower buffalo productivity.