Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Microbiology/Veterinary Medicine / Mosul university

2 Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq

3 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul

Abstract

This study was carried out to determine the presence of gastrointestinal parasites of local ducks and geese in Nineveh province. Sixty-four ducks and seventy geese of different ages and sexes were purchased from local markets. Necropsy findings in ducks reviled a total infection rate of 68.8% was with protozoa, 50% was with nematodes, while 28.1% were with cestodes. On the other hand, in geese, the percentages with the mentioned parasites were 78.6% with protozoa, 54.2% with nematodes, 31.4% with cestodes. Four types of nematodes were identified in ducks; Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum, Heterakis isolonche, and Subulura brompti, the same were also found in geese except Heterakis.isolonche. Cestodes identified in ducks and geese were Railletina tetragona, Railletina echinobothrda, Railletina cesticillus and Coantaenia infundibulum. The detected protozoa include Eimeria spp., Tyzeria spp., Wenyonella spp., Cryptosporidia spp., Giardia spp. Double infection with parasite was higher in ducks while the triple infection in geese was the higher.

Highlights

1-In Ducks a total infection rate of 68.8% was with protozoa, 50% was with nematodes, while 28.1% were with cestodes. While in geese, the percentages with the internal parasites were 78.6% with protozoa,54.2% with nematodes, 31.4% with cestodes

 

2- It is interesting to show that it was the first time in which nematode Heterakis isolonche was recorded in the caecum of ducks in Mosul city.

Keywords

Main Subjects

Introduction

 

In Iraq, ducks and geese are often raised in cities as home-grown, also in villages and rural areas, as they constitute important proportions of per capita income and to benefit from their meat, eggs and feathers, the intensive breeding of ducks and geese is always associated with parasitic infections (1). Internal parasites, including worms and protozoa, are common in poultry because they are grown outside homes and so exposed to soil that is a source of infection. Worm infection is also associated with unthriftiness and poor growth, low eggs production, low percentage of fertilization and mortalities especially in acute cases, the presence of intermediate host and victors in the vicinity of poultry breeding locations, such as beetles, ants, and houseflies are responsible for the transmission and persistence of parasitic infection (2,3). Several studies have been conducted in Iraq and Nineveh governorate on the presence and prevalence of internal parasites in ducks and geese (4-7).

For further studies this research was carried out on ducks and geese delivered from different regions of Nineveh province on the postmortem status to identify the different stages of gastrointestinal tract helminthes and protozoa.

 

Materials and methods

 

This study conducted from April 2017 to December 2018, included several regions in Nineveh province including city center, Kokgali, Hamdania, Bazwaya, Khazer, Salamia and Tizkharab bartela, Talkeef. One hundred forty-three, 64 ducks and 70 geese, with different ages (from 5 months to more than one year) and sexes from question the owners, were purchased from local markets and from their owners. These birds were reared with healthy and sick chickens showing emaciation, weight loss and weakness. Necropsy was done according to (8) after slaughtering of the delivered ducks and geese to the laboratory of parasitology, Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul. All gastrointestinal tracts were partitioned to their segments of crop, proventriculus, gizzard small intestine and caecum Mucosal scraping was done to each separated segments. Parasitic examination methods of direct, flotation and sedimentation techniques were carried out according to (9-11) to elucidate any parasites or their eggs and oocytes, under light microscopes. The gastrointestinal parasites prevalence rate and mean intensity were calculated according to (12).

 

Results

 

Among 64 ducks screened, 48 were found positive for gastrointestinal parasites and among 70 gees screened, 41 were found positive for parasites (Table 1).

 Out of 48 infected ducks, 32(50%) were found positive for nematoda, 18(7.28%) were positive for cestoda and 44(68.8%) were infected with protozoa (Table 2).

While out of 41 infected geese, 38(54.2%) were found positive for nematoda, 22(31.4%) positive for cestoda and 55 (78.6%) were infected with protozoa (Table 3).

At necropsy, four species of Nematodes are found in ducks, and they were Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum, Heterakis isolonche, Subulura brompti with intensity of 1.3, 2.6, 2.5, and 1.4 respectively (Table 4) (Figures 1-4).

 

Table 1: Total Prevalence rate of internal parasites in duck and gees in Mosul city

 

Birds

No. of examine

No. of infected

%

Ducks

64

48

75

Geese

70

41

58.6

 

 Table 2: Prevalence rate of internal parasites in ducks

 

Parasites

No. of infected

%

Nematodes

32

50%

Cestoda

18

28.1%

Protozoa

44

68.8%

Total

94

 

 

 Table 3: Prevalence rate of internal parasites in geese

 

Parasites

No. of infected

%

Nematodes

38

54.2%

Cestoda

22

31.4%

Protozoa

55

78.6%

Total

115

 

 

 

Table 4: Intensity of adult helminthes nematodes in ducks

 

Site of recovery

Helminth

No. of infected birds

No. of parasites

Mean of intensity

Small intestine

Ascaridia galli

32

42

1.3

Caecum

Heterakis gallinarum

20

52

2.6

Caecum

Heterakis isolonche

4

10

2.5

Caecum

Subulura brompti

18

26

1.4

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: Duck intestinal contents showing nematode parasites .

In comparison to the geese, which revealed three species of Nematodes Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum, Subulura brompti with intensity 1.2, 1.3, and 1.6 respectively. At scraping of the gastrointestinal tract five types of eggs were identified including Ascaridia galli, Heterakis. gallinarum, Subulura brompti, Capillaria spp. and Syngamus trachea (Table 5) (Figure 5).

It is interesting to note that it was the first time in which Heterakis isolonche was recorded in the caecum of ducks in Mosul city. These worms were small white worms, with 3 prominent lips on the mouth and well developed esophageal bulb, they were differentiated from Heterakis. gallinarum as the end of male worms had equal spicules (Figure 4) while the posterior end of the male of Heterakis gallinarum possesses prominent circular pre- cloacal sucker and has two unequal spicules (Figure 3).

 

 

 

Figure 2: Anterior end of Subulura brumpti from the cecum of ducks, with a small swelling (A) followed by a constriction (B) and an esophageal bulb (C). x10.

 

In ducks the types of infection either with one or more parasites recorded in this study (Table 6) showed that the higher percentage was traced to the double type of infection 37.5%, then by the triple type of infection 33.3% followed by the single type of infection 25% while the lowest one was the quadruple type 4.1%.

 

 

 

Figure 3: Anterior end (A) and Posterior end (B) of Heterakis gallinarum of cecal scrapping of a duck showing male worm with two unequal spicules. x10.

 

 

 

Figure 4: Posterior end of Heterakis isolonche of cecal scrapping of a duck showing male worm with equal spicules. x10.

 

 Table 5: Intensity of adult helminth nematodes in geese

 

Site of recovery

Helminth

No. of infected birds

No. of parasites

Mean of intensity

Small intestine

Ascaridia galli

18

22

1.2

Caecum

Heterakis gallinarum

24

32

1.3

Caecum

Subulura brompti

11

18

1.6

 

 

 

Figure 5: Different nematode eggs in gastrointestinal scraping, x10. (A) Egg of Capillaria spp, (B) Egg of Syngamus trachea, (C) Egg of Heterakis gallinarum, (D) Egg of Subulura brumpti, (E) Egg of Ascaridia galli.

 

 

Table 6: Prevalence rate of internal parasites in ducks according to type infection

 

Type of infection

No. of infected

%

Single

12

25%

Double

18

37.5%

Triple

16

33.3%

Quadruple

2

4.1%

Total

48

75%

 

In gees (Table 7) shows that the triple infection was the highest one with a percentage of 41.4%, then the single type 24.3% while the double type of infection 22.2% and the lowest one was the quadruple 4.8%.

 

Table 7: Prevalence rate of internal parasite in geese according the type of infection

 

Type of infection

No. of infected

%

Single

10

24.3%

Double

12

22.2%

Triple

17

41.4%

Quadruple

2

4.8%

Total

41

58.6%

 

Discussion

 

Internal parasitic infection are of great importance in breeding birds, especially ducks and geese in terms of their nature, nutrition, presence close to ponds and stagnant water since they are rearing in a backyard system so they could be exposed to eggs, larvae, intermediate hosts and vectors of many parasites in feces contaminating soil and water in addition to their poking and dipping feeding their waste and bedding, which may end in mortalities (13,14), there for our necropsy findings done on 64 ducks and 70 geese for investigation of gastrointestinal parasitic infection, a total of 75% was recorded in ducks and 58.6%. In geese. Our current results were lower than those recorded in the same province of Nineveh for ducks and geese, which were 86.25% (5), but higher than that recorded in Al-Diwaniya province of 47.5% (6). In world, the rate was 51.7% in Kenya (15) and 15.15% in China (16).

The results of this study showed that the mean of intensity of nematodes in ducks was 50% including four species namely Ascaridia galli 1.3%; Heterakis gallinarum 2.6%; Heterakis isolonche 2.5%, Subulura brompti 1.4%, and 54.2% in geese with the same species as above except Heterakis isolonche, with mean of intensity of 1.2, 1.3, and 1.6 respectively.

The percentage of cestode infections were 28.1% and 31.4% in ducks and geese, respectively, and only two types of cestodes were identified here namely with the mean of intensity Railletina spp. and Coantaenia spp.

In comparison with the previous study performed by (5) about the infection with the internal parasites of ducks and geese in Nineveh province, they recorded 11 species of nematodes in ducks, including Ascaridia galli and Heterakis spp. Sublura spp. while in geese, 7 species were recorded, including Ascaridia galli, Heterakis spp., and Sublura brumpti., and four types of cestodes including Railletina spp. Nearly similar percentage were recorded by (17) and but lowered than that recorded by (18).

In southern Iraq, Al-Diwaniya province (19) found that the infection rate in ducks with nematodes was 82.71%, and 96.29% with cestodes, and within the same category (6), reported 47.5% of internal parasites. In Al-Najaf (20) found lesser nematodes infection in chickens with a rate of 47.8% including Ascaridia galli, Heterakis spp. and Capillaria spp.

In Bangladesh, 167 of the ducks examined, (81.1%) were infected by one/more species of gastro-intestinal helminthes, with a total of ten species of helminth parasites were recovered from gastrointestinal tract, of which four species were trematodes (21), but (22) in Gilan province/ Iran, estimated a higher rate of infection reaching 50% including Railletina tetragona, Heterakis gallinarum, Capillaria spp.

In Bangladesh (23) estimated infection rate of 80% in ducks with intestinal nematodes, and an intensity of 24.4% and 15.33% in females and males respectively. In the same country (24) recorded a high percentage with helminthes reached 98.33%, of which 16 types trematodes, 8 cestodes and 5 nematodes.

In cases of massive infestation, one can observe growth retardation, diarrhea and/or anemia and immunosuppression (25). Ascaridia galli can cause enteritis, weight loss, anemia and even nervous signs. A heavy infestation may cause an intestinal obstruction (25). This finding could be attributed to the higher fecundity of female worm (26).

From above, it is clear that there is a huge difference in the percentages of intestinal parasitic infections and their types. These differences may be attributed to the rearing systems of ducks and geese in different geographical areas and the specificity of climatic changes in these locations regarding rainfall, drought, humidity and temperature. The type of management and breeding system play also a pivotal role in the transmission of infections between different types of birds when breeding them in a backyard mixing system, in addition to the adding extrinsic parasitic infections from the migratory birds. The role of age, gender, nutrition, health and immune status of the host cannot be overlooked (14,20,27,28).

Internal parasitic infections, including intestinal ones have a great negative impact on meat and egg production, health parameters and immune status of the infected birds, which increase or predispose them to other infections in spite of parasites themselves being an important etiological causes of different diseases (28-30).

In our study, the total infection rate of protozoa in ducks was 68.8%, including Eimeria spp., Tyzeria spp., Wenyonella spp., Cryptosporidia spp., Giardia spp. The same species were found also in geese but at a higher percentage of 78.6%.

Comparing with other studies in ducks performed in Nineveh province (31) recorded a percentage of 77% for Cryptosporidia spp. and 63.75%with Eimeria spp. and Tyzeria spp. (4), while in geese the percentage rate with Cryptosporidia spp. was 46.67%. (32), and 34.4%and 36.45% in ducks and geese with Giardia spp. respectively. In the south of Iraq, Al- Al-Diwaniya province (6), recorded infection rate of 11.25% with Eimeria spp. in ducks. Outside Iraq (in New Mexico), Giardia spp. infection in geese were recorded at a rate of 28% (14). While inside Iraq they were 29.4% (6) and 28% in New Mexico (14).

The possible causes for infection with different types of protozoa in ducks and geese could be attributed to various etiological cause of these are poor management, lack of hygienic conditions, overcrowding, presence of insects and rodents, outside contamination from migrating or wild birds, mixed breeding with other types of birds, the location of birds rearing, their environmental conditions like the effect of season an diurnal temperatures in addition to the individual variations between them with their different physiological and immunological status.

The negative impact with protozoan infection on the health and productivity of ducks and geese comes from the emaciation with Cryptosporidia spp. (33), low production efficiency with Wenyonella philiplevinei (6,34), hemorrhagic enteritis with Tyzeria spp. especially in young birds (35), and coccidia (25,36,37). Reduction of food absorption and dryness of the skin with Giardia spp. infection (32).

Other parasites like cestodes have also been reported to cause massive infection in ducks represented by diarrhea, anemia and growth retardation; the upper part of the digestive system was also claimed to be affected by nematodes especially by capillariosis causing dysphagia and local inflammation in the crop and esophagus; ascaridiosis and heterakidosis are also another threats to ducks and geese causing enteritis, weight loss, anemia, nervous signs and intestinal obstruction (25).

Tizzeria perniciosa is pathogenic because of its deeper penetration into the intestinal mucosa of common ducklings less than four weeks old. Hemorrhagic enteritis can occur with a mortality rate of 70%. Eimeria mulardi is also pathogenic for ducks.

 

Conclusion

 

This study was conducted to determine internal parasites in local ducks and geese inNineveh province. A total Prevalence rate of internal parasites (nematodes, cestodes, protozoa) was 75 % and 58.6% in ducks and geese respectively.

 

Acknowledgments

 

The authors are very grateful to the University of Mosul, College of Veterinary Medicine for their provided facilities, which helped to improve the quality of this work.

 

Conflict of Interest

 

The authors declare that no conflict of interests of the manuscript.

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