PREVALENCE AND THE EFFECT OF PARASITES ON HAEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS OF LIVESTOCK IN THE UPPER KERIO VALLEY, KENYA
Livestock remains the mainstay of many communities in Kenya yet its production has been negatively impacted by animal diseases especially parasitic infections. Vector borne haemoparasites and intestinal parasites cause major livestock losses and devastate many livelihoods especially in Africa where majority of people depend on agriculture and livestock farming as source of food and income generation. A cross-sectional study was carried out to obtain baseline information on prevalence of tick-borne haemoparasites, trypanosomes and gastrointestinal parasites and their effects on haematological parameters of livestock in the upper Kerio Valley of Elgeyo-Marakwet County. The study also sought to identify ectoparasites and transmitting vectors of haemoparasites. A total of 468 livestock comprising of cattle, sheep and goats in randomly sampled farms were investigated during the period between May 2016 and July 2017. The impact of the infections was also examined through haematological analysis of the blood samples. Determination of gastrointestinal parasites infections was done by flotation and sedimentation methods. The overall prevalence of helminths in cattle, sheep and goats were 59.9%, 60.1% and 79% respectively. Adult cattle were more likely to be affected by helminth parasites than the young animals. Goats were found to have higher prevalence of Coccidian infections than the sheep and cattle (48%, 32% and 39%) respectively. PCR method identified 29 (32%, N= 90) livestock infected with Trypanosoma brucei and T. congolense. The results indicated low prevalence of Theileria parva (4%), Anaplasma (2.8%) and Babesia (1.4%). Intestinal nematodes mainly Strongyloides species accounted for most infections in livestock however tick-borne parasites showed low prevalence. Nematodes and trematodes infections effect on blood values proved significant at p < 0.05. Infection with nematode parasites in sheep significantly (p < 0.05) affected WBC, lymphocytes, monocytes, granulocytes, RBC, HGB, MCH, MCHC, platelets and MPV. Although parasite infection affected blood values in cattle and sheep, the changes were not significant. In cattle, WBC (mean 15.10, and MPV (mean 8.9) were significantly higher than normal standard reference values. Age, sex, location and parasitic infections were found to influence blood parameters of livestock in this setting. High prevalence of helminth infections calls for the need to strengthen control strategies and measures that reduce parasite burden for sustainable animal production in Kerio Valley. Haematological parameter ranges in livestock in Kerio Valley established in the study can be utilized in evaluating physiological status of indigenous and mixed breeds in semi-arid areas of Kenya. It is important to determine how other factors such as environment and management systems practiced by livestock owners influence the presence of parasitic infections.
SubjectLIVESTOCK AND PARASITES, LIVESTOCK HAEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS, LIVESTOCK IN THE UPPER KERIO VALLEY
- EMMILY CHEPCHUMBA NGETICH.pdf
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