The seasonal epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes in N'Dama cattle in The Gambia

Veterinary Parasitology
J Kaufmann, K Pfister


From June 1987 to June 1988, a total of 180 N'Dama cattle were necropsied to identify and enumerate parasites present, including 39 sick calves and 25 dead calves from local village herds, and 116 adult cattle from a local abattoir. Of 175 animals infected with one or more helminths (97%), Haemonchus contortus was found in 67% of all necropsied animals, Cooperia punctata in 75%, Cooperia pectinata in 55%, Oesophagostomum radiatum in 71% and Bunostomum phlebotomum in 21%. There was a wide range of worm burdens (0-22 925) and a pronounced seasonal pattern occurred. Eighty-two percent of the total adult Haemonchus burden occurred during the rainy season (June-October). By the end of the rainy season, almost 100% of the Haemonchus burden was present as inhibited larvae. By contrast, a different survival strategy appeared to occur in Cooperia spp.; Oesophagostomum spp. and Bunostomum spp., which were found as adults throughout the year. Results indicated that, apart from malnutrition during the dry season, gastrointestinal nematode infections, especially haemonchosis, represent a major constraint on the health and productivity of N'Dama cattle under West African savanna conditions.


Apr 1, 1988·Veterinary Parasitology·S N ChiejinaB O Eze

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