Fasciola Gigantica in Onitsha and Environs

By Animal Research International, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.


F. gigantica is a parasite of the liver and bile ducts of cattle, sheep, goats and wild ruminants in Africa and Asia. It is of great veterinary importance, causing the disease fascioliasis in cattle, accounting for considerable economic loss annually (Ukoli, 1990).
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ABSTRACT The presence of Fasciola gigantica n cattle slaughtered in Onitsha abattoir and three other abattoirs in Onitsha area of Anambra State, Nigeria was investigated from November to December 2004. The study involved actual postmortem inspection on the slaughtered cattle. The liver were examined for Fasciola by making length wise inc sion on the ventral side of the liver in such a way that the bile duct and gall bladder are cut open. All cases of Fasciola were detected from the liver. Afor-Igwe abattoir recorded the prevalence rate of 10.8% wh le the prevalence rates of 7.0%, 7.7% and 13.4% were recorded at Nkwor-Ogidi abattoir, Oye Olisa abattoir and Onitsha main market abattoir respectively. Out of a tota of 1580 catt e examined, 166(10.51%) were infected with F. g gant ca. Of the 166 diseased liver, 26(15.7%) had light worm load, 77(46.4%) med um worm load and 63(38%) had heavy worm load. The lowest number of worm recovered per liver was 3 while the highest was 88. This study has established the presence of F. gigantica in Onitsha Area. It was also observed that most diseased liver were not condemned. This situation calls for serious attention o the veterinary workers in the state. In view of the fact that these cattle which were brought from the Northern part of Nigeria were made to trek to places of pasture (near streams and rivers) within Onitsha area where the snail intermediate host of the parasite thrives, it is suggested that grazing of cattle should be highly restricted to lesser snail infected areas. The range land system (Artificial pasture land) seems to be the panacea to fascioliasis in cattle.


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