Occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in domestic animals in peri-urban communities of Kafue district, Zambia

J. Siwila, I. G. K. Phiri, Heidi L. Enemark, M. Nchito, A. Olsen

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    Abstract

    Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis are important parasites infecting a wide range of domestic animals worldwide. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia parasites in different domestic animals living in close contact with humans within rural/semiurban communities in Kafue district in Zambia. A single faecal sample per animal was collected from pigs, goats, dogs, ducks, chickens and pigeons and analysed by Merifluor Cryptosporidium/Giardia immunofluorescence antibody assay for the simultaneous detection of these parasites. The faecal consistency was noted and scored as non-diarrhoeic or diarrhoeic. A total of 236 samples were collected. Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were detected in pigs (11.5%, 17/148), goats (5.9%; 1/17), ducks (10.0%; 3/30) and chickens (14.3%; 2/14) while Giardia cysts were detected in pigs (8.1%; 12/148), goats (5.9%; 1/17), dogs (25.0%; 5/20) and ducks (6.7%; 2/30). Diarrhoea was not associated with either infection. Age was also not associated with either infection except in dogs where Giardia infection was only detected in animals aged less than six months (p=0.009). It is concluded from this study that Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia parasites are prevalent among domestic animals reared within communities in Kafue district thereby constituting a potential source for zoonotic infections.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTanzania Veterinary Journal
    Volume28
    Issue numberSpecial Issue
    Pages (from-to)49-59
    ISSN0856-1451
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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