Original Research

Diversity and seasonal occurrence of Eimeria species in a mixed flock of communally reared sheep and goats in Mafikeng in the North West Province, South Africa

F.R. Bakunzi, S.N. Thwane, L.E. Motsei, B.M. Dzoma
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 81, No 3 | a137 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v81i3.137 | © 2010 F.R. Bakunzi, S.N. Thwane, L.E. Motsei, B.M. Dzoma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2010 | Published: 18 May 2010

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F.R. Bakunzi,
S.N. Thwane,
L.E. Motsei,
B.M. Dzoma,

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Abstract

Diversity and seasonal occurrence of coccidia in a communally reared mixed flock of sheep and goats at Mafikeng, North West Province, South Africa, was determined between March 2008 and February 2009. Faecal specimens were collected directly from the rectum of the animals and the number of oocysts per gram of faeces (opg) determined. The mean monthly opg for goats was significantly higher than that for sheep. Higher oocyst counts were observed during the hot, rainy season than during the cold, dry season. The highest mean values for both the sheep (862.5 opg) and goats (1200 opg) were recorded during March. Six species (Eimeria crandallis, E. bakuensis, E. weybridgensis, E. ahsata, E. intricata, and E. ovinoidalis) were recovered from sheep, with E. crandallis and E. bakuensis occurring most frequently. The last 2 species, together with E. ahsata, are considered among the most pathogenic species in sheep. In goats, 7 species (E. arloingi, E. jolchijevi, E. caprina, E. alijevi, E. caprovina, E. christenseni and E. hirci) were recovered, with E. arloingi and E. jolchijevi occurring most frequently. Up to 5 Eimeria species were recovered from individual specimens in goats while up to 4 were recovered in sheep. No cross-infections between goats and sheep were recorded and no clinical coccidiosis was noted during the study. It is increasingly becoming evident that the pathogenic E. arloingi is one of the most commonly occurring Eimeria species in goats in South Africa.

Keywords

communal sheep; diversity; Eimeria species; goats; seasonal occurrence

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