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Prevalence of helminths and efficacy of
anthelmintics against nematodes in naturally
infected sheep in Jeldu district, Oromia
Regional State, Ethiopia
1National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center, P.O. Box 04, Sebeta, ETHIOPIA.
2Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA.
3Department of Parasitology and Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 34, Debre Zeit, ETHIOPIA.
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
Prévalence des parasites et efficacité des anthelminthiques contre les
A study was conducted to determine the prevalence of helminths in sheep
nématodes présents chez des moutons naturellement infestés du district
and to evaluate the efficacy of one brand of albendazole, two brands of tetra-
de Jeldu, région d’Oromia, Ethiopie
misole and one brand of tetraclozan against nematodes of sheep in Jeldu dis-trict, west Showa Zone of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Coprological
Cette étude avait pour objectif de déterminer la prévalence des helminthes
investigation revealed that sheep in the district were infested by a variety of
chez les moutons du district de Jeldu, Ethiopie, et d’évaluer l’efficacité de
helminth parasites; 67.4% with Strongyle, 20.2% with Moniezia, 11.63%
plusieurs marques d’antiparasitaires (1 marque pour l’albendazole et le
with Fasciola, 8.5% with paramhistomum and 0.8% with Trichuris parasites.
tetraclozan, 2 pour le tetramisole) contre les nématodes.Les analyses copro-
Based on their initial fecal egg count, animals were allocated into four treatment
scopiques ont montrés que les animaux de cette région étaient infestés par
groups: albendazole (Albendazole 300mg, Chengdu Qiankun Vet. pharma-
plusieurs types d’helminthes : 67,4 % avec des strongyles, 20,2 % avec
ceuticals Co. Ltd, China), tetramisole (Rangtetra-600, Cipla Ltd. Mumbai
Monieza, 11,63 % avec Fasciola, 8,5 % avec paramhistomum et 0,8 % avec
Central, India), tetramisole (Chengdu Qiankun Vet. pharmaceuticals Co.
des trichures. En fonction du dénombremtn initial des œufs, les animaux ont
Ltd, China), tetraclozan, (Tetracozash-900, Ashish Life Science Pvt. Ltd.,
été répartis en 4 groupes de traitement : albendazole (Albendazole 300 mg,
India) and untreated control group of 15-16 animals per each group with a
Chengdu Qiankun Vet. pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd, China), tetramisole
uniform mean fecal egg count (FEC) and treated with the respective drugs
(Rangtetra-600, Cipla Ltd. Mumbai Central, India), tetramisole (Chengdu
according to the manufacturers recommendation. Fecal egg count reduction
Qiankun Vet. pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd, China), tetraclozan, (Tetracozash-
test (FECRT) was used to determine the efficacy of each anthelmintic drug
900, Ashish Life Science Pvt. Ltd., India) et un groupe contrôle non traité.
10 days post treatment. In spite of complaints of reduced efficacy by some
Chaque groupe comprenait 15-16 animaux. La réduction de la numération
sheep owners, all of the anthelmintics tested in the current study were found
des œufs dans les faeces a été utilisée pour déterminer l’efficacité relative de
to be highly effective and reduction of 98.77-100% FEC of nematode parasites
chaque molécule 10 jours après traitement. En dépit des remarques provenant
was recorded. Proper dosing, anthelmintic rotation and the selective treatment
de certains éléeveurs suggérant une perte d’efficacité, tous les traitements
of those individuals that are most affected is recommended to maintain the
testés ont été très efficaces et ont entrainé une réduction de 98 à 100 % de
la numération fécale des œufs. Un dosage adéquat, une rotation des traitementsutilisés et le traitement sélectif des animaux les plus affectés sont recom-
Keywords: Albendazole, efficacy, Ethiopia, helminths,
mandés pour permettre une efficacité à long terme de ces molécules.
Prevalence, sheep, tetramisole.
Mots clés : Albendazole, efficacité, Ethiopie, helminthes,
Prévalence, mouton, tetramisole.
combination of factors including poor nutrition, health andmanagement practices. Disease is an important factorresponsible for decreased productivity of sheep and accounts
In Ethiopia, small ruminants represent an important com-
for 30% and 20% mortalities in lambs and adults, respectively
ponent of the farming system, providing approximately 12%
. Helminth parasites are one of the most economically
of the value of livestock products consumed at farm level as
important diseases affecting sheep productivity in the country
well as 48% of the cash income generated. Small ruminants
. Sheep are host to a multiple species of parasitic hel-
provide 46% of the value of national meat production and
minths that cause varying degrees of disease, ranging from
58% of the value of hide and skin production and are an inte-
chronic forms associated with diarrhea, anemia and weight
gral part of production systems in which they serve various
loss to highly acute infections resulting in sudden death .
Infection with helminth parasites results in clinical and sub-clinical diseases causing low productivity due to stunted
In spite of this huge livestock resource, their productivity
growth, insufficient weight gain, poor feed utilization and
is very low . This decreased productivity is the result of a
Revue Méd. Vét.,
, 2, 55-58
The prevalence of different helminth parasites has been
of greater than or equal to 200 in prevalence study were
studied in different parts of the country [4; 14]; however, the
selected. All animals selected for anthelmintic efficacy trial
prevalence and impact of helminth parasites as well as their
from the three PAs were allocated into 5 groups of 15-16 animals
sensitivity to the commonly used anthelmintics have not
each by blocking using FEC conducted before treatment so
been studied in some parts of the country like Jeldu district.
that the mean FEC per each group was nearly uniform. Each
The current study was conducted to investigate the prevalence
group was then randomly allocated into one of the four
of the major helminth parasites of sheep in Jeldu district, and
anthelmintic groups and one untreated control group.
to evaluate the efficacy of selected anthelmintics commonly
Animals in each treatment group were treated by respective
available in Ethiopian markets against nematodes in naturally
drugs according to manufacturers' recommendation.
The anthelmintics used in the present study were bought
from the retail markets and composed of three drug classes.
Table 1 summarizes the anthelmintic brands used, the manu-
Materials and Methods
facturers and the manufacturers’ recommended doses. Theanimals were treated with the respective anthelmintics dosageas per the recommendations of the manufacturers according
to the weight of each individual animal.
The study was conducted in Jeldu district ; West Showa Zone
of Oromia Regional State, located 125 km west of AddisAbaba. This is predominantly highland area with a few mid-
SAMPLE COLLECTION AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATION
land and lowland areas. Farming in the district is mixed andinvolves both livestock and crop production. According to
Identification of helminth eggs was performed using simple
the information obtained from the office of Jeldu District
floatation and sedimentation techniques. The quantitative
Livestock Agency, the population of small ruminants in the
fecal egg count used the McMaster egg count technique .
district is 67581 of which 47235 are sheep and 20346 are
The degree of severity of infection was also estimated accor-
goats. Specific study sites chosen were Chilanko, Edesa
Gelan and Kilbe Peasant Associations (PAs) which are locatedat the radius of 10-15 km from the Gojo town in differentdirections. The three PAs were purposively selected based on
their accessibility, high sheep population and the historicaluse of anthelmintics depending on information obtained
The prevalence of the different genera of helminth parasites
was determined by dividing the number of positive animalsby number of total animals examined and multiplying by100. The prevalence rate of parasites in the three localitieswas compared using chi-square. Efficacy of anthelmintics
was calculated using arithmetic mean of FEC of the treated and
For the prevalence study, a total of 129 animals of all age
untreated animals . E= [1- (T/C)]*100, where E = percentage
groups and both sex (45 from Edesa Gelan; 51 from Kilbe;
efficacy; C= mean number of eggs in the control group; T= mean
and 33 from Chilanko PAs) were randomly selected from
different flocks owned by different farmers. The animalswere then ear-tagged for identification purpose. The criteriafor inclusion in the trial were flock size of greater than or
equal to 10 sheep, history of anthelmintic usage and farmers'willingness. For anthelmintic efficacy study, animals from
Comparative prevalence of helminth parasites of sheep in
the three PAs were selected out of the total animals used in
the three PAs of Jeldu district and the overall prevalence in
prevalence study. Animals with eggs per gram (EPG) count
the district is presented in Table 2. Strongyle type nematodes
*7.5 mg tetramisole and 7.5 mg oxyclozanide.
TABLE I: Details of the anthelmintic drugs used in the current study.
Revue Méd. Vét.,
, 2, 55-58
PREVALENCE OF HELMINTHS AND EFFICACY OF ANTHELMINTICS AGAINST NEMATODES
were most prevalent in Edesa Galan followed by Kilbe and
least prevalent in Chilanko PA. The prevalence of Fasciola
spp. is relatively similar in Chilanko and Kilbe PAs while
The current work has shown that helminth parasites of
very low prevalence was recorded in Edensa Galan PA. The
sheep especially nematodes are highly prevalent (67.4%) in
prevalence rate of all parasites were not significantly diffe-
Jeldu district. Some of the sheep have been observed to shed
rent among the 3 PAs except for strongyle type nematodes
large number of strongyle eggs (12,300 eggs). More than
which was significantly higher (P<0.05
) in Edesa Gelancompared to the other two PAs.
32% of the infected sheep were shedding greater than 1200eggs per gram of faeces which is an indication of heavy
Table 3 shows the state of severity of nematode parasite
infection with nematode parasites; this can cause emaciation
infection as reflected by fecal egg count of strongyle type
and decrease in productivity. Moniezia
(20.2%) and Fasciola
nematodes. The results of the study showed that a majority
spp. (11.6%) are the next most prevalent parasites in the area.
(60%) of the infected sheep had a mild infection whereas
There is a significant difference in the prevalence of most of
only 32% of the positive sheep had a severe infection with
the helminths among the three PAs. The most probable reason
strongyle type nematodes shedding greater than 1200 eggs
for this is the difference in microclimates of the localities.
For example, Kilbe and Edesa Gelan have some marshy
The mean FECs of groups of sheep before and after treat-
focal areas which are environments conducive for the deve-
ment with different anthelmintics are shown in Table 4. All
lopment of intermediate host of Fasciola
drugs except Tetracozash-900 resulted in a 100% reduction
spp. This might account for the high prevalence of Fasciola
in FEC 10 days post treatment. The percentage reduction of
spp. in these areas compared to that of
No examined % positive No examined% positive No examined% positive
TABLE II: Prevalence of helminth parasites of sheep in Jeldu district (n=129).
Degree of infection
Light = 50 – 800 eggs per gram of faeces Moderate = 800 – 1200 eggs per gram of faecesHeavy > 1200 eggs per gram of faeces
TABLE III: Degree of severity of nematodes in infected sheep based on FEC of strongyle type eggs.
TABLE IV: Mean faecal egg count of strongyle type nematodes in sheep before and after treatment and percentage reduction on day
Revue Méd. Vét.,
, 2, 55-58
All of the anthelmintics tested in the current study showed
5. - CHAKA H., EGUALE T., GIZAW D., LIDETU D.: Evaluation of the
FECR ranging from 98.8 to 100%. This finding shows that
efficacy of anthelmintics sold on Ethiopia markets againstHaemonchus contortus
in experimentally infected Sheep. Trop. Anim.
the drugs used in the current study can be categorized as
., 2009, 41
highly effective against nematode parasites of sheep in the
6. - COLES G. C., BAUER C., BORGSTEEDE F.H.M., GEERTS S.,
study area . The fact that some of the sheep owners com-
KLEI R., TAYLOR M.A., WALLER P.J.: World Association for the
plained lack of production improvement post treatment
Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) method for the
despite history of frequent deworming led us to suspect the
detection of anthelmintic resistance in nematode of veterinary impor-
emergence of anthelmintic resistance. However, our finding
tance. Vet. Parasitol
., 1992, 44
justified that the parasites are still susceptible to the evaluated
7. - COLES G.C.: Anthelmintic resistance- looking to the future: a UK
anthelmintics. The cause for decreased productivity could be
perspective. Res. Vet. Sci
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non-helminth factors such as nutritional or other diseases.
8. - EGUALE T., CHAKA H., GIZAW D.: Efficacy of albendazole
The reason why anthelmintics are still working in the area in
against nematode parasites isolated from a goat farm in Ethiopia:relationship between dose and efficacy in goats. Trop.Anim. Hlth.
spite of frequent treatment could be farmers are either
., 2009, 41
deworming only severely infected animals from the flock or
9. - HANSEN J., PERRY B: The Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Control
even when one treats all animals in his flock frequently, the
of Helminth Parasites of Ruminants. International Laboratory for
risk of spread of resistance is minimal because frequently
Research on Animal Diseases, 1994, Nirobi, Kenya.
treated and untreated animals are usually kept in communal
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So far, anthelmintic efficacy studies conducted in nematodes
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of sheep and goat owned by smallholder farmers in different
farm in Hawassa (southern Ethiopia). Trop. Anim. Hlth. Prod.,
parts of Ethiopia have revealed similar findings [2, 5, 12, 13,
15, 18]. Despite its escalating prevalence in several countries
12. - KUMSA B., NURFETA A.: Comparative effiecacy of albendazole,
of the world, especially in small ruminants [7, 10], anthel-
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mintic resistance is not yet a serious problem in Ethiopia,
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and there are only few reports merely from the University
13. - KUMSA B., TOLERA A., NURFETA A.: Comparative effiecacy of
farms [8, 11, 17]. Proper dosing, anthelmintic rotation and
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is recommended to maintain the long term efficacy of these
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The authors would like to thank National Animal Health
16. - MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE (MOA). Sheep production project
Diagnostic and Investigation Centre for provision of financial
main report. Australian Agricultural Consulting and Management
support for the field work and for allowing the use of labo-
Company Limited, 1985, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ratory facilities. We are also grateful to staff members of
17. - SISAY M., ASEFA A, UGGLA A., WALLER J.: Anthelmintic resis-
tance of nematode parasites of small ruminants in eastern Ethiopia:
Jeldu District Livestock Agency and the sheep owners for
Exploitation of refugia to restore anthelmintic efficacy. Vet.
their unreserved cooperation during field work.
., 2006, 135
18. - SISAY M., ASEFA A., UGGLA A., WALLER J.: Assessment of
anthelmintic resistance in nematode parasites of sheep and goats
owned by smallholder farmers in eastern Ethiopia. Trop. Anim. Hlth.
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