The Epidemiological factors associated with helminths and coccidia in zebu calves under pastoralism in Isiolo County Kenya

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Moses Gakuru
George Karuoya Gitau
Muthee John Kaunga
Davis Ikiror
Daniel Wambua Muasya

Keywords

Epidemiology; pastoralism; calves; helminths; coccidia

Abstract

In Kenya, helminthosis and coccidia infections in cattle, are the second highest cause of death in zebu calves up to 12 months old, estimated at 12% mortality rate. The aim of our study was to investigate the factors associated with helminth and coccidia infection among zebu beef calves in Isiolo County Kenya. A cross-sectional study was conducted between November and December on 2020 in Isiolo North and South Constituencies. Garbatulla and Burat wards in Isiolo North and Kinna in Isiolo South were purposively selected due to high number of large cattle herds compared to other areas. A total of 411 calves from 34 herds aged between 3 weeks and 12 months were randomly selected for the study. Calf level and management and environmental data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires, observations and physically. Faecal samples were obtained from the rectum or immediately after defaecation for laboratory analysis located in Kinna Ward in Isiolo South Constituency. In the laboratory, faecal egg counts were estimated using the McMaster faecal floatation technique. Descriptive, univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out with outcome as parasites eggs or oocysts per gram of faecal sample. The factors associated with coccidia infections in the final multivariable logistic regression analysis for coccidia were: Location (Constituencies), availability of drinking water, lush pasture, floor condition, availability of extension services and herd size. In the multivariable logistic regression final model for strongyle infection, age of the calf, herd size, co-infestation with other parasites, and availability of extension services were significant. The results of this study indicated that prevalence of helminth and coccidia infections in calves is high and the calf, environmental and management factors were associated with such infections.

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