Prevalence of Blood Parasites in Dogs of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria

Akwashiki Ombugadu; James I. Maikenti; Favour C. Ezenwankwor; Victoria A. Pam; Ndubisi R. Uzoigwe; Christian N. Okonta; Austin Odika; Chinonso B. Okonkwo; Njila L. Hasley; Benjamin O. Echor; Gideon G. Deme; Hussein O. Ahmed; Oseghale P. Aimankhu; Sylvester A. Attah; Monday D. Samuel; Mock S. Kure; Collina Kambai; Mundi J. Francis; Gladys A. Angbalaga; Cyril D. Nkup; Oluwamuyiwa O. Baiyewu; Lucky O. Atabo; Grace E. Anyebe; Alhassan A. Aliyu; Scholastica O. Ayuba; Simon A. Odey; Victor A. Adejoh; Mohammed A. Ashigar; Joseph O. Ayim; Kajibia S. Dogo; Samuel E. Ameh.

Transactions on Science and Technology, 8(4), 673 - 678.

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The complex public health challenge associated with the symbiotic relationship between humans and companion animals tend to alter the physiological attributes of humans and their pets. Thus, a study on the prevalence of blood parasites in dogs of FCT, Abuja, Nigeria was carried out from August to October, 2019. Blood samples were collected from 99 dogs and examined using thin smear microscopy. Also, the packed cell volume (PCV) of each sample was measured. Out of the 99 dogs screened, 48 (48.5%) were infected with one or more blood parasites. Exotic breeds had higher prevalence of infection 41 (48.9%) than the local breeds 7 (46.7%), but the difference was not significant (P = 1). Dirofilaria species was the most prevalent blood parasite. Variations in prevalence between blood parasite species was highly significant (χ2 = 30.698, df = 5, P < 0.0001). Parasitic infection in relation to dog varieties varied significantly (χ2 = 123.94, df = 9, P < 0.001). Cane corso was the most infected 2 (100.0%). Dogs from Wuse area were the most infected 10 (71.4%). Hence, blood parasitic infection in dogs in relation to locations showed a high significant difference (χ2 = 11.898, df = 3, P < 0.01). Adult dogs were more infected 34 (53.1%) than puppies 14 (40.0%), nevertheless, the difference was not significant (χ2= 1.0793, df = 1, P = 0.2989). Prevalence of blood parasites in dogs was higher in male dogs 27 (54.0%) than in females 21 (42.9%) but the difference was not significant (χ2= 0.82454, df = 1, P = 0.3639). The mean PCV level was significantly low in infected dogs compared to uninfected dogs. The four zoonotic parasites recorded in this study are of public health importance and calls for an urgent need for a One Health survey.

KEYWORDS: Dog breeds, Blood parasites, PCV, Zoonotic parasites, Public health, One Health, FCT-Abuja.

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