Repository logo

Prevalence of gastro-intestinal parasites of livestock and dogs and risk factors for transmission with emphasis on giardia and cryptosporidium in Magude district, Maputo province, Mozambique.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites and risk factors for transmission of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in livestock and dogs of Magude District, Maputo, Mozambique. Methods: A total of 696 faecal samples (480 from calves, 60 from goats and 156 from dogs, between 0 and 7 months) were randomly collected from the rectum of animals of both sexes from February to September, 2015. Willis and McMaster methods using NaCl solution were applied in all faecal samples to identify and quantify gastrointestinal helminthic and protozoal infections. To improve the sensitivity of the tests in detection of Giardia and Cryptosporidium, the formol-ether method was applied and the sediment obtained was used for the modified Ziehl Neelsen (mZN) for detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts, direct immunofluorescence (DIF) and indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) tests for both Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. Since the secondary antibody for IIF was derived from goats, this method was not applied in goat samples. To determine the risk factors, a questionnaire was administered to dog owners and livestock farmers. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI), Chi Square or Fisher exact test for risk factors and general linear model multivariate for differences between localities of Magude District were applied using SPSS programme and p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. The sensitivity and specificity of mZN and IIF were determined using MedCalc software with DIF test as gold standard. Using Willis, IIF and DIF, the prevalence of Giardia in calves was 0%, 8.1%, and 6.0%, in dogs 0.6%, 8.3% and 5.7% and for goats it was 0% and 13.3% respectively and the IIF was not done. The prevalence of Cryptosporidium in calves using Willis, mZN, IIF and DIF was 0%, 3.8%, 4.7% and 0.4% in dogs it was 0%, 0.6%, 6.4% and 0.6% respectively and in goats was 0% for all tests. All positive samples to DIF, IIF and mZN were negative by PCR. Additionally, the parasites and prevalence detected in dogs were Sarcocystis spp. (3.8%), Isospora spp. (2.6%), Ancylostoma spp. (60.3%), Toxocara canis (5.8%), Taeniidae (1.9%), Trichuris vulpis (1.3%), Spirocerca lupi (0.6%); in calves and goats, Strongylid (50.8%, 31.6%), Eimeria spp. (17.5%, 41.6%) and Moniezia spp. (3.3% and 11.6%) respectively. The mZN test showed high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (96.2% and 100%) in detecting Cryptosporidium oocysts. The sensitivity and specificity of IIF test to detect both parasites was also high. The sensitivity ranged between 88.9% and 100%, specificity between 95.4% and 98.5% for Giardia and 100% of sensitivity, 93.2% and 93.9% of specificity for Cryptosporidium. In contrast, the Willis lacked sensitivity for Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections (0%). The lack of regular treatment against parasitic infections in calves and the source of water (mostly the river) were identified as a risk factor in the transmission of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in calves and dogs (p < 0.05). Giardia and Cryptosporidium are prevalent in Magude District, although the risk of zoonotic transmission through molecular technique was not done due to low numbers of oocysts/cysts in the positive samples. The main helminthic parasites detected through floatation technique for dogs were Toxocara canis and Ancylostoma spp., for cattle and goats were strongylids and Eimeria spp. and the intensity of infection was low.


Master of Science in Life Sciences. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.


Theses - Biology.