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Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Sheep and Goats Reared by Nomads of Jammu Region of Jammu and Kashmir

Moien Javaid Mohd. Rashid Burhan Nabi Mir Mudasir Manzoor Ahmad Bhat Nasir Manzoor Wani Makhmoor Ahmad Bhat
Vol 8(8), 219-225
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20171118050100

The study was carried out to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats domesticated by nomads of Jammu region of J&K. A total of 283 faecal samples were collected and processed by centrifugal fecal flotation technique using 33% ZnSO4 flotation solution to ensure that the flotation is effective. 194 samples were found positive for different gastrointestinal nematodes. The study showed the prevalence rate of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats to be 65.04 % and 70.55% respectively. Haemonchus was found to be predominant in faecal samples of both sheep and goats. The young ones and females of both species showed the higher parasitic burden compared to adults and males respectively. Based on the findings of present study it is clear that sheep and goats of Jammu region reared by nomads are heavily infected with a variety of nematode parasites.


Keywords : Goats Haemonchus Nematodes Nomadss Prevalence Sheep

The goats and sheep form the backbone of livestock sector in Jammu and Kashmir in general and in specific they constitute the major source of income for nomadic tribes of Jammu and Kashmir. So, in order to achieve the economic upliftment of this section of our society it is imperative to provide impetus to this section of livestock. It is an established fact that helminth infestation of sheep and goats decrease their production to a large extent. One of the major causes of sharp decline in productivity of dairy animals in Himalayan region is gut parasitism Jithendran and Bhat (1999). The parasitic diseases cause high morbidity and huge economic losses that range from 20 to 25 % in terms of low meat, milk and wool production, stunted growth, mortality and morbidity (Gupta, 2006). The prevalence of various gut parasites depends upon diverse agro-climatic, animal husbandry practices and pasture management (Arambulo and Moran, 1981; Joshi, 1998). There are many reports of prevalence of helminths in small ruminants from India Katoch et al. (1998); Godara and Sharma (2010) and different parts of Jammu and Kashmir Makhdoomi et al. (1995); Khajuria and Kapoor (2003); Yadav et al. (2006). The pattern of epidemiology and prevalence of different helminthic diseases in different climatic zones of India provide the basis for developing tactical and strategic control of these diseases Jithendran and Bhat (1999). Since the information regarding the helminth load of sheep and goats reared by nomadic tribes in Jammu and Kashmir is scanty, so this study was carried out to provide information regarding the prevalence of major nematodes in sheep and goats reared by nomadic tribes of Jammu region. Moreover, the information generated may prove of high value to administration and policy makers of the state to make strategies for improving the health status of sheep and goats of nomads, so that they can utilize their resources optimally.

Materials and Methods

Sample Collection and Laboratory Procedure

The study was carried out in the winter season (November, 2015 to January, 2016). The fecal samples were collected randomly from sheep and goats of both sexes and of different age groups. The samples were put in the properly labeled sterilized sample containers and carried to the laboratory. All the samples were processed within 24 hours of the collection. The samples were subjected to qualitative examination by Centrifugal fecal flotation technique using 33% ZnSO4 flotation solution to ensure that the flotation is effective.

Zinc Sulphate Centrifugal Flotation

Fresh faecal specimens were formalinised by adding few drops of 10% formalin to 1g of fecal sample and were then emulsified in 10 parts of saline, finally strained through three folds of gauze. The filtrate was collected in a centrifuge tube and then centrifuged at 1500rpm for 5 minutes. The supernatant was discarded and the sediment was resuspended in water. To the sediment,3-4 ml of 33% zinc sulphate solution was added, then mixed well and filled with ZnSO4 solution to about half an inch of the rim. Several loopfuls of the supernatant fluid were removed with a bacteriological loop and put on slide, then covered with a cover slip and examined under 40X lens Melvin and Brooke (1985).

Results and Discussion

A total of 283 faecal samples were screened, out of which 194 samples were found positive for different gastrointestinal nematodes. Thus, the overall prevalence rate of gastrointestinal nematode infection was found to be 68.55%. A total of 103 samples were collected from sheep and 180 samples from goats. The present study showed the prevalence rate of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats to be 65.04 % (67 out of 103) and 70.55% (127 out of 180), respectively which is in agreement with the previous studies which reported the prevalence rate of 61.76% of nematode infection in sheep during winter season (Kuchay et al., 2011) and 72.5% in goats of Jammu region (Mir et al., 2013a). Among these two species, present study showed lower infection rate in sheep. This may attributed to the fact that sheep develop immunity against nematodes around the age of 12 months while as goats remain more susceptible to nematode infection (Vlasoff et al., 2001; Macaldowie et al., 2003). The survey reported the presence of eight gastrointestinal nematodes in goats (Table 1) and six in sheep (Table 2).

Table 1: Prevalence rate of different gastrointestinal nematodes in goats (Total positive samples in goats, n=127)

Nematode No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
Haemonchus 106 83.46
Ostertagia 90 70.86
Chabertia 71 55.9
Bunostomum 69 54.33
Trichostrongylus 60 47.24
Nematodirus 49 38.58
Oesophagostomum 48 37.79
Trichuris 40 31.49

Table 2: Prevalence rate of different gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep (Total positive samples in sheep, n=67)

Nematode No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
Haemonchus 43 64.17
Chabertia 24 35.82
Trichuris 23 34.32
Trichostrongylus 15 22.38
Bunostomum 8 11.94
Oesophagostomum 7 10.44

High prevalence rates of Haemonchus (83.46%), Ostertagia (70.86%) and Chabertia (55.90%) were found in samples collected from goats. Predominance of Haemonchus, Ostertagia and Chabertia was also reported in previous studies (Mir et al., 2013a). In sheep Haemonchus (64.17%) also showed higher prevalence which is in alignment with the previous studies (Laha et al., 2001; Perry et al., 2002; Pandit et al., 2003; Bhat et al., 2007; Lone et al., 2012; Mir et al., 2013b).

From 117 samples taken from female goats, 84 (71.79%) were positive for one or more gastrointestinal nematodes and from 63 samples taken from males, 43 (68.25%) were found to be positive for one or more gastrointestinal nematodes (Table 3).

Table 3: Gender wise prevalence rate of different gastrointestinal nematodes in goats

Nematode Male (Total Positive Samples, n= 43) Female (Total Positive Samples, n= 84)
  No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%) No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
Haemonchus 37 86.04 72 85.71
Ostertagia 30 69.76 58 69.04
Chabertia 26 60.46 50 59.52
Bunostomum 22 51.16 46 54.76
Trichostrongylus 21 48.83 41 48.8
Nematodirus 15 34.88 31 36.98
Oesophagostomum 17 39.53 33 39.28
Trichuris 16 37.2 31 36.98

While as out of 56 samples taken from female sheep, 38 (67.85%) were positive and out of 47 samples taken from males, 29 (61.70%) were found to be positive (Table 4). So, in both sheep and goats females carry higher parasitic burden as compared to their male counterparts and this has also been documented by researchers (Wani et al., 2011; Shahnawaz et al., 2011). The hypobiotic larvae in sheep and goats during winter get released and develop faster in the animals with impaired immunity and further add to higher level of infection in females (Khajuria et al., 2013).

Table 4: Gender wise prevalence rate of different gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep

Nematode Male (Total Positive Samples, n= 29 ) Female(Total Positive Samples, n= 38)
  No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%) No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
Haemonchus 21 72.41 26 68.42
Chabertia 9 31.02 13 34.21
Trichuris 8 27.58 14 36.84
Trichostrongylus 6 20.68 9 23.68
Bunostomum 5 17.24 5 13.15
Oesophagostomum 5 17.24 4 10.52

Age wise prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes was found to be highest in 0-2 year age group in both sheep (Table 5) and goats (Table 6) which may be because lambs and kids have low innate ability to resist infection. This inturn results in slow build up of worm numbers in their gastrointestinal tract. However, in older animals only low grade infection was found. It may be due to the fact that mature animals have well developed immunity and ability to fight infection although maintenance of immunity requires regular exposure to parasites.

Table 5: Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes in different age groups of sheep

Age Group(Years) No of Samples Examined No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
0-2 38 32 84.21
4-Feb 30 20 66.66
6-Apr 22 12 54.54
8-Jun 8 2 25
8 and above 5 1 20

Table 6: Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes in different age groups of goats

Age Group(Years) No. of Samples Examined No. of Positive Samples Prevalence (%)
0-2 70 63 90
4-Feb 44 34 77.27
6-Apr 28 17 60.71
8-Jun 29 11 37.93
8 and above 9 2 22.22

The study showed that both sheep and goats were infected with similar set of gastrointestinal nematodes. The reason could be that Bakerwals have mixed flocks of sheep and goats. Moreover, grazing pattern and managerial practices followed by Bakerwals are almost same for both the species. Even water points, pastures and sheds are shared by these animals.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of present study it is concluded that sheep and goats of Jammu region reared by nomadic tribes are infected with a variety of nematode parasites. So, other animals of this region coming in contact with them face the risk of infection. It must be noted that Haemonchus is the predominant gastrointestinal nematode in the region.  Since some of the nematodes found in these small ruminants in present study like Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus are zoonotic in nature, so nomads who live in close association with their flocks are at constant risk of extracting infection. Therefore, it seems to be an urgent task to take further steps towards safe guarding the health of the people associated with sheep and goat in this region. Moreover, there is a need to collect more data of helminth infection in Jammu and Kashmir for a better management of helminth parasites which will lead to better production.

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to SKUAST-Jammu for financial and technological assistance.

Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict of interest.

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