Comparative Survey of Ectoparasites Infestation of Livestock Cohabiting with Humans and Those Sold in Some Markets in Makurdi, Benue State.


ABSTRACT: There is an unprecedented increase in livestock business in Makurdi. This study investigated ectoparasites infestation on livestock reared within residential apartments and those sold in the market from August 2014 to September 2015. Visual inspection of the head, neck, abdomen, trunk, leg, tail, pelvic and wings were performed to search for ectoparasites after which physical handpicking technique using forceps and brushing were employed to remove the ectoparasites. A total of 1,032 animals were examined for ectoparasites over a period of twelve months, 792 (76.7 %) of them were reared within residential premises while 240 (23.3 %) were those sold in the markets. The overall infestation rates was 596 (57.7 %) with those being sold in the market having an infestation rate of 70.0%compared to 54.0 %in those reared within residential areas. The
infestation of the animals sold in the market was significantly higher than those reared within
residential premises. (X2= 3.841, P < 0.05). Level of infestation was higher in female animals, this was however not statistically significant (P <0.05). The animals sold in the market also had higher varieties, this was also not statistically significant (P < 0.05). Boophilus species was the most predominant tick encountered in the study followed by Amblyomma, Rhihicephalus and Hyalomma genera. The predominant species of lice, mites and fleas were Linognathus, Demodex and Ctenocephalides species respectively. The enforcement of already existing prohibition on stray and roaming animals in urban areas will go a long way to preventing spread of infestation in both animals and humans. For the urban livestock farmers, interactive health education, highlighting the zoonotic disease implications of cohabiting with animals will enhance the adoption of more responsible and hygienic animal handling and production.
Keywords: Ectoparasites, Infestation, Livestock, Humans, Markets

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