Prevalence and determinants of gastrointestinal parasite infection in intensively managed pigs in Nsukka agricultural zone, Southeast, Nigeria
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Gastrointestinal parasite (GIP) infection in pigs constrains swine production and enhances dissemination of zoonotic parasites, especially in the tropics. Therefore, an epidemiological study to determine prevalence and risk factors of GIP infection in intensively managed pigs in Nsukka, was conducted. Faecal samples from 1400 pigs, randomly collected from 40 farms, were examined for GIP eggs following standard protocol. Data on involvement of pig farmers in risk practices that enhance endoparasitic infection in piggeries were obtained using structured questionnaire. Overall prevalence of 80% (32/40) and 28.6% (400/1400) were recorded at farm and individual pig levels, respectively. Prevalence of 25.3% (138/546), 30.7% (262/854), 30.4% (310/1020) and 23.7% (90/380) were obtained for male, female, young (< 1 year) and adult (≥ 1 year) pigs, respectively. Epidemiological factors (sex, age, season, farm location and flock size) were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with worm infestations. Worm eggs identified and their prevalence were: Strongyles 25.7% (360/1400), Trichuris 11.4% (160/1400), Ascaris 0.7% (10/1400) and mixed infections (Strongyles and Trichuris) 9.3% (130/1400). Major risk factors found were feeding of self-compounded on-farm feed, non-disinfection of pen and equipment, rearing pigs of different ages together, infrequent removal of dungs, early weaning at less than 6 weeks and non-availability of routine deworming programme. The overall prevalence at farm and individual pig levels were high; and involvement of farmers in the risk practices was massive. Therefore, cost-effective control of GIP infestations in pig in the study area is imperative; to boost pig production and minimize risk of transmission of zoonotic parasites.
KeywordsSwine Pork Prevalence Gastrointestinal parasites Risk factors Zoonotic parasites
Management and staff of all the farms surveyed are acknowledged for their cooperation during this study. We are also thankful to Veterinarians and Lab technologists who assisted us during faecal examination.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical clearance for inclusion of 1400 pigs in this study and blood collection from the animals, via ear venapucture was granted by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Human and animal rights
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guideline for care and use of animals, as contained in the IACUC protocol, were followed.
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