Prevalence and loads of gastrointestinal parasites of goats in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
A longitudinal survey was conducted to determine the prevalence and loads of gastrointestinal parasites in goats raised by communal farmers of Qaukeni (QA) and Nkosana (NK) communities of Eastern Cape Province of South Africa between June 2007 and April 2008. One hundred and seventy one goats were weighed and had faecal samples collected from their recta in four seasons; cold-dry, hot-dry, hot-wet and the post-rainy seasons. The samples were examined by the modified McMaster technique for nematode egg types. Goats in QA weighed more (P < 0.05) than those in NK in the post-rainy, cold-dry and hot-dry seasons. However, in the hot-wet season, goats in NK had higher (P < 0.05) weights than those in QA. The most frequently detected gastrointestinal eggs were the strongyle egg type (68.4 ± 8.49 in QA and 96.1 ± 12.01 in NK), followed by coccidial oocysts (53.3 ± 8.76 in QA and 68.8 ± 8.00 in NK). The other identified nematodes were Strongyloides and Trichostrongylus egg types. Higher loads (P < 0.05) of strongyle eggs were observed in the hot-wet and post-rainy seasons, whilst the other egg types showed a peak in the hot-wet season. Strongyle egg counts were higher (P < 0.05) in NK compared to QA. The results indicate that strongyles are the major gastrointestinal egg types negatively affecting body weights of goats. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.