Journal of Parasite Research
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Research Article | Open Access
  • Available online freely | Peer Reviewed
  • Incidence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Zebu and N’dama Breeds from Cattle Ranches in Jos Plateau, Nigeria

    Dogo G. Abraham 1       Arinze S. Chukwuemeka 2     Oshadu David Omagbe 1    

    1Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Jos, Jos - Nigeria

    2Central Diagnostic Laboratory, National Veterinary Research Institute Vom - Nigeria


    The incidence of gastrointestinal parasites in Zebu and N’dama breeds known to be trypanotolerant cattle from some ranches in Jos Plateau was investigated at the peak of the raining season, August to October, 2018. A total of 150 cattle from some Ranches in Jos Plateau were randomly selected for faecal sampling out of which 85 were Zebu (Bos indicus) and 65 were N’dama (Bos taurus) breeds respectively. The samples were analyzed for ova of gastrointestinal parasites using the simple flotation and sedimentation techniques and the results were interesting. The strongyloids, Oesophagostomumradiatum had the highest incidence of 4.7% followed by the Trichostrongylus species with 4%. Fasciolagigantica and Haemonchusplacei both were 3.3%. Then Paramphistomumcervi 2%; bovine hook worm, Bunostomumphlebotomum 1.3%, Taenia saginata1.3%, Schistosoma bovis 1.3% and Nematodirusspathiger 0.7%. The incidence of nematodes, cestodes and trematodes in this study in the raining season was significant (p<0.05) and could pose production and economic threat to institutional farms and ranches in the development of livestock and dairy industries in Nigeria. There should be a strong policy on the control of gastrointestinal parasites in the country for farmers to benefit from their contribution in ensuring food security.

    Received 25 Mar 2020; Accepted 27 Mar 2020; Published 30 Mar 2020;

    Academic Editor:Eman Hashem Radwan, Damanhour University, Egypt.

    Checked for plagiarism: Yes

    Review by:Single-blind

    Copyright©  2020 Dogo G Abraham, et al.

    Creative Commons License    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Competing interests

    The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


    Dogo G. Abraham, Arinze S. Chukwuemeka, Oshadu David Omagbe (2020) Incidence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Zebu and N’dama Breeds from Cattle Ranches in Jos Plateau, Nigeria. Journal of parasite research - 1(2):8-14.
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    Cattle, the most prominent domesticated livestock in Nigeria, represent a valuable asset in both traditional and modern agriculture. In addition, they also provide meat, milk, skin and draught power for farming 1. In some traditional settings, they also play an essential role in the socioeconomic system, representing family wealth or they can be regarded as a survival kit by nomadic people 2. In Nigeria, the livestock sector contributes 5.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP), while cattle production solely contributes 50% of the total meat 3. Meat is one of the most important livestock products, although there could be losses due to various diseases including helminth infections. The quantity of meat and revenue obtained from domestic livestock is far below the national demand due to factors such as death and ill health with associated reduced productivity and increased cost of treatment 4.

    Helminths are known to be a major constraint to ruminant’s well-being and productive performance 5, 6, 7. Gastrointestinal helminths are umbiquitous parasitic agents of livestock, especially ruminants and are known to limit cattle production in many areas and countries 5, 7. Mortality of animals due to parasitic diseases may not be alarming at times but their indirect effects on livestock productivity and their zoonotic impact on human health are considerably greater 8, 9, 10. Indirect losses associated with helminth infections include the reduction in productive potentials such as decreased growth rate, weight loss, diarrhoea, anorexia and sometimes anaemia 11, 12, 13.

    The most important predisposing factors of helmith infections are grazing habit, climate, nutritional deficiency, immunological status, vector, presence of intermediate host and the number of infective larvae and eggs in the environment 14, 15. The effect of helminth infections is determined by a combination of factors, of which the susceptibility of the host-parasite interaction and the infective dose are the most important 15, 16.

    This current study aims at determining the incidenceof gastrointestinal helminths of cattle ranches in Vom District of Jos South Local Area of Plateau State, Nigeria. This is with the view of providing a baseline epidemiological data on this group of parasites in an ongoing study in Nigeria.

    Materials and Methods

    Study Area

    The study was conducted in Vom, located in Jos South Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State. This was during the peak rainy season between August and October, 2018. Fecal samples from 150 cattle were collected from various ranches in the Local Government Area (located in Kaduna Vom and Dashe Chugi villages respectively). Samples from K-Vom were collected from the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) and National Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research, (NITR). The remaining samples were collected from surrounding ranches in Dashe and Chugi villages of Jos South LGA. The cattle from the above mentioned institutes are grazed intensely within the confines of the institutes while ranches in Dashe and Chugi villages are grazed in the countryside using the free-range pattern.

    Sample Collection

    The cattle screened were of Zebu and N’dama breeds of age ranging from six months to three years. The Zebu cattle are the humped, longer-horned large Fulani breed, while the N’dama are hump less, short-horned dwarf cattle. Fecal samples were collected using sterile disposable hand gloves (A.J. Seward®). The gloves having been worn; two fingers were inserted into the rectum of the cattle to extract stool samples very early in the morning (prior to the day’s grazing). The fecal samples were tied up and transported to Parasitology Laboratory for analysis. A total 150 stool samples were collected, 65 of which belong to the N’dama breed and 85 belonging to Zebu breed.

    Screening Procedure

    The screening of the sample was carried out in the Parasitology Laboratory of the Federal College of Veterinary and Medical Laboratory Technology (FCVMLT), National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State, Nigeria according to standard procedures.

    Briefly, the flotation procedure was used to analyze as follows:- fecal samples were transferred into a white porcelain mortar and loosed in a concentrated salt solution (saturated sodium chloride with specific gravity of 1.8) using a pestle. The fecal solutions were then pour across a wire-mesh sieve into cylindrical flotation tube to eliminate vegetable debris in the fecal samples, ensuring clarity of viewing under the microscope. The flotation medium was then introduced into each of the tubes until convex meniscus formed. Clean cover slips were placed on each tube. After a period of 15 minutes, the cover slips were carefully removed and placed on microscope slides for examination.

    Furthermore, the sedimentation method was applied on the fecal samples to detect heavier eggs as follows:- 80% of the fecal solution in each tube was poured out as supernatant and plain water used to fill the tubes to the brim. This was left for about 10 minutes, after which about 80% of the supernatant was decant, the tubes refilled with plain water and left for about 10 minutes. This step was repeated once again. Finally, about 90% the top layers of the fecal solutions in each tube was decant into an empty 100 Mls container, leaving the sediments at the bottom. With the use of Pasteur pipette, the sediments was mixed gently, extracted and transferred onto microscope slide and cover slips placed. The slides were immediately examined for operculated eggs using binocular microscope. For each method described, the slides were examined under a x10 and x40 objectives magnification.

    Data Analysis

    The data obtained were converted to percentages presented in les. Data analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23.0. The statistical methods employed were Chi-Square and paired t-Test. p<0.05 was considered significant.


    In this study, the results of the 150 cattle screened are as follows; for helminths, 33 (21.9%) were positive the various classes of helminth. The class nematoda was highest 21 representing 14.0% followed by the class trematoda 10 representing 6.6%. Only 2(1.3%) cattle were positive for cestodes. Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, Table 5, Table 6.

    Table 1. Helminth infection rates in Zebu and N’dama cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Class of helminths Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Nematodes 21 14
    Cestodes 2 1.3
    Trematodes 10 6.6
    Total 33 21.9

    Table 2. Individual helminthic parasites detected in Zebu and N’dama cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Helminth Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Bunostomum phlebotomum 2 1.3
    Trichostrongylusspp. 6 4.0
    Haemonchus placei 5 3.3
    Oesophagostomum radiatum 7 4.7
    Nematodirus spathiger 1 0.7
    Taenia saginata  2  1.3
    Fasciola gigantica 5 3.3
    Paramphistomum cervi 3 2.0
    Schistosoma mansoni 2 2.0
    Total 33 21.9

    Table 3. Helminth infection rates in the 85 Zebu cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Class of helminths Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Nematodes 15 17.7
    Cestodes 2 2.4
    Trematodes 6 7.0
    Total 23 27.1

    Table 4. Infection rates of helminthic parasites on the 85 Zebu cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Helminth Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Bunostomum phlebotomum 2 2.4
    Trichostrongylusspp. 5 5.9
    Haemonchus placei 3 3.5
    Oesophagostomum radiatum 4 4.7
    Nematodirus spathiger 1 1.2
    Taenia saginata  2 2.4
    Fasciola gigantica 5 5.8
    Paramphistomum cervi 0 0
    Schistosoma mansoni 1 1.2
    Total 23 27.1

    Table 5. Helminth infection rates in 65 N’dama cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Class of helminths Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Nematodes 6 9.2
    Cestodes 0 0
    Trematodes 4 6.1
    Total 10.0 15.3

    Table 6. Infection rates of helminthic parasites on the 65 Zebu cattle screened for gastrointestinal parasites in Vom Ranch.
    Helminth Number of cattle infected Percentage infection (%)
    Bunostomum phlebotomum 0 0
    Trichostrongylusspp. 1 1.5
    Haemonchus placei 2 3.1
    Oesophagostomum radiatum 3 4.6
    Nematodirus spathiger 0 0
    Taenia saginata 0 0
    Fasciola gigantica 0 0
    Paramphistomum cervi 3 4.6
    Schistosoma mansoni 1 1.5
    Total 10 15.3

    The different species of nematode, cestode and trematode parasites detected in the stool samples of the 150 cattle are as presented in Table 2.


    This study was carried during raining season of 2018 to identify the worms that are responsible for gastrointestinal helminthiasis in Zebu and N’dama cattle ranches in Vom District of Plateau State, Nigeria. This is aimed at determining the incidence of the concerned helminthic parasites in the study area. The findings of this study shows that a number of gastrointestinal parasites including nematodes, cestodes and trematodes affect Zebu and N’dama cattle in ranches and by extension, other cattle on free range. This provide a baseline information on the gastrointestinal parasites that are often responsible for both direct and indirect reduction productivity in cattle industry such as decreased growth rate, weight loss, diarrhoea, anorexia, and sometimes anaemia and subsequently, death. The incidence of nematodes (14%) in this study is higher owing to the fact that five parasites were detected including Oesophagostomumradiatum(4.7%), Trichostrongylusspp. (4.0%), Haemonchusplacei(3.3%), Bunostomumphlebotomum(2.4) and Nematodirusspathiger(1.2%). The high incidence of these Oesophagostomumradiatumand Trichostrongyle worms is in agreement with work previously done in Plateau (15 and 16), Benue 17 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 18. The high prevalence, according to these studies may be associated the raining season and with the life cycle of these parasites as they do not require intermediate hosts in their transmission and the suitable environment for the multiplication of eggs. As seen in this study, parasitic gastrointestinal parasitism is due mainly to these nematode parasites and routine, timely deworming is advocated seriously


    This investigation have shown that bovine gastrointestinal helminthiasis in Vom District has not reached alarming level but could have some indirect economic negative impact on the ranches in spite the sub-clinical infection rates. N’dama and Zebu cattle species registered equal susceptibilities to helminth infections and this is to our knowledge the first report in these ranches involving the Zebu and N’dama breeds on the Jos Plateau.


    Further research work should be carried out to improve on grazing habits, nutritional status, pasture management and immunological status of cattle in Cattle Ranches in Vom District on the Jos Plateau as often these factors seemed neglected by ranchers.


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