The The occurrence of helminths and coccidia in zebu calves among pastoralists in Isiolo County Kenya

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


Coccidia; Calves; Helminths; Pastoralism; Prevalence


In Kenya, helminthosis and coccidiosis in cattle, is reported to be 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 prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth and coccidia infections among zebu calves in Isiolo County in Kenya. A cross-sectional study was conducted in between November and December, 2020 in Isiolo North and South Constituencies. Garbatulla and Burat Wards in Isiolo North and Kinna Ward 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 cattle herds aged between 3 weeks and 12 months were randomly selected for the study. Faecal samples were obtained from the rectum or immediately after defaecation for laboratory analysis, in a veterinary laboratory located in Kinna Ward in Isiolo south Constituency that is virtually meant for research. Faecal egg counts and coccidian oocyst were identified and estimated using the McMaster faecal floatation technique. The prevalence was determined by dividing positive number by the total number tested and the converted to percentage form. The overall prevalence of helminth and coccidia infections was estimated at 66.9% (275/411). Concurrent helminth and coccidia prevalence were slightly low, estimated at 16.5% (68/411). Coccidia infection was the most prevalent type of infection estimated at 45.7% (188/411) while the prevalence of helminths was 38.4% (158/411). Strongyle infection was predominant among other helminths detected with a prevalence of 29.4% (121/411) followed by Strongyloides 6.5% (27/411), Monezia 2.7% (4/411), Toxocara 1% (4/411) and Trichuris 0.2% (1/411). The results of this study indicated that prevalence of helminth and coccidia infections in calves is high dominated by strongyles and coccidia.

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