Occurrence of parasites of pigeons in Morogoro Municipality of Tanzania


P. L. M. Msoffe*, A. P. Muhairwa, G. H. Chiwanga and A. A. Kassuku

A study was conducted to assess the prevalence of parasites of domestic pigeons in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. 100 nestlings and 100 adult pigeons were examined for the presence of ecto and endoparasites. 159 pigeons (79.5%) were infected with one or more species of gastrointestinal helminthes, 124 (62%) had one or more ectoparasites and 74 (37%) were infected with haemoparasites. The 3 subfamilies represented two cestodes and one nematode, whereas no trematodes were found. Three species of helminthes Raillietina tetragona (6%), Raillietina echinobothrida (63%) and Ascaridia galli (15.5%) were identified. Three different species of ectoparasites (Pseudolynchia canariensis (61.5%), Menocanthus stramineus (0.5%) and Menopon gallinae (0.5%), and 1 haemoparasite species Haemoproteus columbae were identified. Prevalence of gastrointestinal worms was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in adults than in nestlings. Nestlings appeared to be less susceptible to gastrointestinal cestodes but more susceptible to nematodes compared with adults. P. canariensis were found in both nestlings and adults pigeons while M. stramineus and M. gallinae were found in adult only. Prevalence of ectoparasites was not statistically significant (P < 1) between the two age groups. The prevalence of H. columbae was statistically higher (P < 0.001) in adults. Further studies are recommended in assessing the effects of the parasites on the pigeons’ health and production.

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