Journal of
Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health

  • Abbreviation: J. Vet. Med. Anim. Health
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2529
  • DOI: 10.5897/JVMAH
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 415

Full Length Research Paper

A cross-sectional study on gastrointestinal parasitism in dromedary camel calves in Isiolo County, Kenya

Peter Kimeli
  • Peter Kimeli
  • Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Nairobi, Kenya.
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George K. Gitau
  • George K. Gitau
  • Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Nairobi, Kenya.
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Davis Z. Ikiror
  • Davis Z. Ikiror
  • Vétérinaires SansFrontières Suisse, P. O. Box 25656-00603 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Willy Mwangi
  • Willy Mwangi
  • Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Moses Gakuru
  • Moses Gakuru
  • Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053-00625, Kangemi, Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 05 October 2023
  •  Accepted: 01 November 2023
  •  Published: 30 November 2023

Abstract

A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with gastrointestinal parasitism in dromedary camel calves in Isiolo County, Kenya. Data on farm- and calf- levels were collected through semi-structured questionnaires. The calves were examined, and a faecal sample was collected per rectum for laboratory analysis. The gastrointestinal parasite eggs and oocysts were estimated using the faecal floatation and McMaster methods in the laboratory. Descriptive analysis was used to summarize the variables, and multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to explore the association between helminth infection and the farm- and calf-level risk factors. A total of 308 calves in 25 households were recruited for this study. The mean number of calves per herd, age and weight were 38, 7.3 months and 169 kg, respectively, while the age at weaning was about 11 months. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasitism was 42%, while that of nematodes and coccidia were 31 and 3.9%, respectively. In the first model, the factors that were significantly associated with nematode infections were total milk yield per day, calf age, and calf weight. In the second model, the factors that were significantly associated with Nematodirus species infection were the age of the calf, live body weight and average weaning age of the camel calves. The study concludes that gastrointestinal parasitism (especially nematodes) occurs in camel calves in Kenya. It is recommended that the pastoralists should be educated on the impact of gastrointestinal parasitic infections in camel calves, and the importance of strategic deworming.

Key words: Helminths, coccidia, camel calves, prevalence, Isiolo, Kenya.