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CTA. 2002. Pesky parasites. Spore 99. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47549
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore99.pdf
It is hard to find a sheep or goat in a tropical country without gastrointestinal parasites (helminths), and usually with an extremely high incidence.Sheep and goats take in these parasites with the grass and herbs they eat and they survive for...
It is hard to find a sheep or goat in a tropical country without gastrointestinal parasites (helminths), and usually with an extremely high incidence. Sheep and goats take in these parasites with the grass and herbs they eat and they survive for months in the intestines and spread easily through dung. A study carried out in 2001 by the Zootechnical Research Centre in Kolda, Senegal, is one of many which confirms high levels of contamination. 70% of the animals were infected with Oesophagostomun columbianum alone, not to mention other parasites. These helminths cause up to 40 % of ruminants deaths and 33% loss in a herd s productivity. A similar study in Ethiopia reports the presence of helminths Haemonchus contortus and O. columbianum in more than 90% of the investigated ruminants. In Guadeloupe and Martinique, prevalence of parasites in ruminants is 100%. Here H. cortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis are the biggest culprits. These infections can be treated with anthelminthic mixtures of chemicals which destroy or expel these parasites. They are not easily available nor affordable, and only effective in repeated and well-timed applications. They are best applied at a time when the risk of infestation is highest, including when the breeding levels of the parasites are dangerously high in the grazing areas. Well-fed, healthy animals are obviously less vulnerable to these parasites. More specifically, nitrogen dietary supplements increase the resistance of ruminants to H. contortus. Mixed species grazing systems, such as sheep mixed with cattle, also reduce infestation levels and productivity losses. Overgrazing, no wise method in any case, also increases the infestation levels.