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Studies of parasitic helminths of sheep and goats in Ghana.

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    ABSTRACT: Over 1 year, from January to December 1999, a total of 173 slaughtered sheep at Al-Mahala abattoir were examined for presence of nematode parasites. Eighteen sheep (10.4%) were infected with eight different species of nematodes. The prevalence rates of detected nematode parasites were; Haemonchus contortus (3.5%), Haemonchus placei (1.7%), Trichuris ovis (5.8%), Parabronema skrjabini (2.9%), Ostertagia trifurcata (1.2%), Chabertia ovina (0.6%) and Strongyloides papillosus (0.6%), and Graphidiops species (2.9%). The seasonal prevalence of the infection with the nematode parasites was studied and the highest rate was during autumn (15.2%) followed by summer (11.1%) and winter (9.4%) while the lowest rate was during spring (5.6%).
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    ABSTRACT: West African Dwarf (WAD) goats serve an important role in the rural village economy of West Africa, especially among small-holder livestock owners. They have been shown to be trypanotolerant and to resist infections with Haemonchus contortus more effectively than any other known breed of goat. In this paper we review what is known about the origins of this goat breed, explain its economic importance in rural West Africa and review the current status of our knowledge about its ability to resist parasitic infections. We suggest that its unique capacity to show both trypanotolerance and resistance to gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infections is immunologically based and genetically endowed, and that knowledge of the underlying genes could be exploited to improve the capacity of more productive wool and milk producing, but GI nematode susceptible, breeds of goats to resist infection, without recourse to anthelmintics. Either conventional breeding allowing introgression of resistance alleles into susceptible breeds, or transgenesis could be exploited for this purpose. Appropriate legal protection of the resistance alleles of WAD goats might provide a much needed source of revenue for the countries in West Africa where the WAD goats exist and where currently living standards among rural populations are among the lowest in the world.
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    ABSTRACT: The sheep tapeworm, Moniezia expansa, occurred in 100% of lambs and wethers during the wet warm season (15 Jun–15 Dec) on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix in 1999. In total, 924 mm of precipitation was measured during this period. In the early dry season and mid-dry season, the percentage of lambs and wethers infected was 25 and 44%, respectively. In total, 424 mm of rainfall was measured during this period (16 Dec 1999–15 Jun 2000). During the transition from wet to dry seasons, prevalence was lower in ewes (peaking at 29.6%) than in offspring. In lambs and wethers, prevalence increased to 58% and then declined to 44.4%. Temperature averaged 25°C during the wet season and 29.4°C during the dry season. Eggs per gram of feces (EPG), determined by the modified McMaster method, followed a similar pattern, peaking at 1,698 EPG in the wet season, 2,008 EPG in the early dry season, and 939 EPG in the mid-dry season. Infections were heavier and of greater duration in the wet season. The study started in September 1999 and ended in August 2000.
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