Co-joint trematode infections in cattle from Kafue and Zambezi river basins of Zambia
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This study investigated the heterologous interaction among Fasciola gigantica, Schistosoma spp. and Amphistomum spp. co-joint infections in cattle based on egg and worm counts. A total of 315 cattle from trematode endemic areas along the Kafue and Zambezi flood plains were screened at Turn Pike abattoir for either F. gigantica in the liver, Schistosoma spp. in the mesenteric veins and/ or Amphistomum spp. in the rumen. One hundred and thirty three of the abattoir examined cattle harboured one, two or all three trematodes. Faecal samples, livers, mesenteries, lungs, kidney, spleen, abomasum and rumens from fifty randomly selected trematode infected cattle were collected for ftirther laboratory examination. There were heavy Amphistomum (mean ± SEM = 622.08 ± 97.87), low Schistosoma (mean ± SEM = 3*3.68 ± 7.44) and low Fasciola (mean ± SEM = 19.46 ± 4.58) worm burdens. There was no significant difference (x^ =575.34, p =0.923) between F. gigantica and Schistosoma worm burdens. A significant difference (x^ =1210, p =0.038) was observed between F. gigantica and Amphistomum worm burdens. A total of 32% (n = 50) harboured all the three trematodes, 66% had F. gigantica and Amphistomum spp. infections, 52% had Schistosoma spp. and Amphistomum spp. infections while 32% had F. gigantica and Schistosoma infections. A positive correlation (p = 0.014) was obtained between F. gigantica and Amphistomum worm burdens. There was no correlation between Amphistomum and Schistosoma worm burdens (r = 0.15, p = 0.302) and between F. gigantica and Schistosoma worm burdens (r = -0.12, p = 0.390). Schistosoma faecal egg and tissue egg counts had positive correlations (p < 0.001) with worm burden. Fasciola eggs were also detected in the liver, lung, kidney, mesenterium and spleen. Fasciola tissue egg counts were significantly higher than faecal egg counts (p < 0.001). Histopathological examination of the lungs did not confirm the presence of Fasciola eggs in the tissue. Based on these findings, it may be concluded that there is no significant cross-protection among these trematodes in cattle in endemic areas. Therefore, existence of co-joint infections and lack of cross-protection among F. gigantica. Schistosoma and Amphistomum infections in endemic areas should be considered when formulating control measures of trematode infections.
- Veterinary Medicine