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Parasitic Gastroenteritis (PGE) Complex of Domestic Ruminants in Nigeria: A Review

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Parasitic gastro-enteritis (PGE) is a major health problem and thus the main constraint on the profitable production of domestic ruminants in Nigeria. An annual loss of 60 million Naira due to the disease in domestic ruminants has been estimated. Parasitic gastro-enteritis is a complex of diseases involving several nematode species in these genera, Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus, Oesophagostomum, Gaigeria, Cooperia and Strongyloides. The disease has been shown to be a rainy season problem in the derived eastern savannah of Nigeria and the Sahel savannah or through out the year on the Jos plateau. Normal Nigerian temperature range of 13.8oC (lower minimum for Obudu) to 40oC (maximum for Maiduguri) are suitable for the development and survival of the eggs of the nematode species to infective larval stages of the parasites. During the dry season, however, when ambient temperature exceeds 40oC in the arid-northeastern Nigeria, some degree of pasture sterilization occur with low parasitic load pertaining in the environment. The complex can either occur in a hyper acute, acute, or chronic form. The clinical signs include diarrhea, weight loss, submandibular oedema (bottle jaw), severe anaemia, dark-colored faeces and death depending on the stage. The anaemia is associated with either, intestinal haemorrhage or haemopoitic disturbances initiated by inapetence or loss of metabolites (due to impaired protein digestion) into the gut. The increased loss of plasma or serum proteins (proteinleaking gastro-enteropathy) occurs and is responsible for the hypoprotinaemia. Iron re-absorption in the gastrointestinal lumen is eventually reduced leading to low serum and bone marrow iron reserves leading to dyserythropoisis. Controls by grazing management, strategic anthelmintic medication have been used under varied conditions.Key words: Parasitic gastroenteritis, domestic ruminants, Nigeria

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