Prevalence and burden of gastrointestinal helminths in wild and domestic guineafowls (Numida meleagris) in the Southern Province of Zambia

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Mudenda, Ntombi Basimbi
Nalubamba, King Shimumbo
Bwalya, Eugene Chisela
Munangandu, Hetron Mweemba
Munyeme, Musso
Squarre, David
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Objective: To determine the gastrointestinal tract helminthic fauna in domestic and wild guineafowl in Zambia. Methods: Post-mortem and laboratory parasitological examinations for helminth identification and enumeration were conducted on 198 guineafowls (148 domestic and 50 wild) from November 2010 to October 2011. Results: All guineafowls were infested with one or more helminths. Eleven helminth species, namely, Raillietina echinobothrida, Raillietina tetragona, Raillietina cesticillus, Ascaridia galli, Allodapa suctoria, Gongylonema ingluvicola, Tetrameres spp., Heterakis spp., Acuaria spiralis, Syngamus trachea, and Streptocara pectinifera were identified with no trematodes recorded. Mean nematode burden between domestic and wild fowl showed no differences having 113.7 [confidence interval (CI) 98.9–128.6] and 108 (CI 76.6–139.5) nematodes respectively. In contrast, female guineafowls had a mean of 151.9 (CI 128.4–177.8) nematodes per host which was significantly more than the males that had a mean of 79.6 (CI 66.8–94.4). However, there were differences in helminth species richness between domestic and wild guineafowls with domestic guineafowls having more species present at a mean of 4.2 (CI 3.91–4.44) than the wild ones at a mean of 3.4 (CI 2.92–3.88) but there were no sex differences. Eight of the eleven helminth species cooccurred in domestic and wild fowl and five of the helminth species had higher prevalence in domestic guineafowls. Conclusions: Syngamus trachea, Streptocara pectinifera and Acuaria spiralis are reported for the first time in domestic poultry in Zambia. This study represents the first comparative study of helminths in domestic and wild guineafowls at an interface area and adds to the knowledge base in a discipline where a dearth currently exists.
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Gastrointestinal helminths , Numida meleagris , Guineafowl