Small ruminants farming is a traditional activity mostly practiced by local populations in developing countries since several centuries. But nowadays, due to many biotic and climatic factors, small ruminants farming face various problems which damage smallholders’ income especially those related to gastrointestinal parasites in tropical areas. In opposite to the chemical drugs frequently used in controlling it, medicinal plants have been investigated with fewer side effects on both the meat quality and the environment. This current study aimed at reviewing Haemonchus contortus prevalence in small ruminants across the world and present medicinal plants that have been investigated in the last decades. Haemonchus contortus called barber’s pole worm, a highly pathogenic blood sucking parasite, is the most significant nematode parasite in small ruminants due to its high prevalence reported by many studies. Its presence in small ruminants results in a loss of feed absorption and disturbance of nutrient metabolism, which lead to poor performance and significant economic loss in the herds, especially in rural areas of developing countries. For the past decades, its control was mainly based on the use of chemical anthelmintics; whose use has been limited due to several factors like the irrational and misuse. Recently, alternatives methods of control have been identified and tested with conclusive results and consisted mainly in the use of medicinal plants. Parts of plants or the whole plants of several plants were recorded to be relevant to control the nematodes parasites in small ruminants such as leaves of Bridelia ferruginea, Mitragyna inermis and Combretum glutinosum, whole plant of Hagenia abyssinica, oil and fresh ground plant of Chenopodium ambrosioides, protein extracts of Leucaena leucocephala, ethanolic extract of Phytolacca icosandra, essential oil of Eucalyptus staigeriana, leaves and seeds of Carica papaya, and leaves of Newbouldia laevis and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloïdes.
Keywords: Economic losses, Gastrointestinal nematodes, chemical anthelmintics, medicinal plants, poor performance