Prevalence of helminthiasis in cattle kept in Rubuguri town council, Kisoro district, Southwestern Uganda
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Helminthiasis has been ranked among the first ten major health constraints of livestock production in Uganda. Animals harbor helminths in their body which causes clinical and subclinical illness. It affects the health status of animals causing great economic losses to the livestock industry. A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of helminthiasis in Rubuguri town council, Kisoro district, Southwestern Uganda. This intended to assess the different helminths present and extent of worm burden which causes production loss thus enable stakeholders design control programs and other possible solutions. Rectal faecal samples were collected from 65 heads of cattle on 11 farms while socio-demographic data on animals was captured using a semi-structured questionnaire for a period of 7 weeks. The samples were submitted to the laboratory and analysed using floatation, sedimentation and techniques for parasitic egg identification and faecal egg counts (FEC). The study found the overall prevalence of helminthiasis to be 41.5% with trematode (24.6%), nematodes (23.1%) and 6.2% co-infection. The most prevalent helminths were Fasciola (24.6%), followed by Strongloides (23.1%) and Bunostomum (1.5%). The mean EPG revealed a higher worm burden in cattle kept in lowlands (42.56) than those kept in highlands (1.05). There was no significant association of prevalence of helminthiasis with sex, age and breed. The study showed a relatively high prevalence of helminthiasis in Rubuguri town council, Kisoro district as compared to other studies done in central and Northern Uganda and the results give a basis for recommending strategies for helminthic control in the studied area. However, there is a need a need for further research using more specific techniques like larval culture to ascertain the helminths at species level and quantify EPG by Mcmaster.