Submit or Track your Manuscript LOG-IN

Incidence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Pavo cristatus under Cage System and Comparative Efficacy of Two Anthelmintics

PJZ_54_1_495-498

Incidence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Pavo cristatus under Cage System and Comparative Efficacy of Two Anthelmintics

Shabana Naz1*, Nishat Ali Khan1, Arnab Tanweer1, Shifa Moazzam1, Qudrat Ullah2, Farkhanda Asad1, Irfan Khattak3, Sajida Batool4 and Rifat Ullah Khan5

1Department of Zoology, Government College University Faisalabad

2Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan

3College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan

4Department of Zoology, Islamia College University, Peshawar

5College of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted on Pavo cristatus (Indian peafowl) kept in captivity at Jallo Wildlife Park to find the comparative efficacy of Albendazole and Levamisole against gastrointestinal parasites. For this purpose, the fecal samples were collected from 30 peafowl. Sampling was done thrice from same birds i.e., once before treatment and twice after treatment with Albendazole and Levamisole. The efficacy of Albendazole and the Levamisole against parasites was calculated. The fecal samples were examined by using flotation and modified Macmaster’s egg counting technique. The results showed that 21 peafowl (8 males and 13 females) were infected with Eimeria sp. (66.33 %), Ascaridia sp. (3.33 %,) Strongyloides sp. (3.33 %), Ascaris sp. (6.67), Heterakis sp. (3.33 %), and Hymenolepis sp. (10 %). The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was 70 % having EPG 9150. The efficacy of Lemavisole (97.26%) against gastrointestinal parasites was greater than Albendazole (94.53 %). The results of the present study showed that birds in Jallo Wildlife Park, Lahore are infected with different gastrointestinal parasites. Also the results indicated that Levamisole was more effective anthelmintic against gastrointestinal parasites.


Article Information

Received 16 November 2019

Revised 02 January 2020

Accepted 23 January 2020

Available online 09 April 2021

(early access)

Published 27 December 2021

Authors’ Contribution

SN, NAK, AT, SM conducted the

study and wrote the manuscript. QU,FA, IK SB and RUK edited and revised the paper.

Key words

Pavo cristatus, Comparative efficacy, Gastrointestinal parasites, Anthelmintic drugs

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjz/20191116101145

* Corresponding author: drshabananaz@gcuf.edu.pk

0030-9923/2022/0001-0495 $ 9.00/0

Copyright 2022 Zoological Society of Pakistan



Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is the largest, most fancy and popular bird among the pheasants, because of its long train, attractive colours, and spectacular courtship. It is considered as a flagship (Icon) species for wildlife conservation. It also acts as indicator species of environmental conditions. Its presence or absence in area indicates the fitness of ecosystem. It is protected under Punjab Wild Life Act, 1974 (Hassan et al., 2012). In wild, its population is facing a serious threat and continuous decline due to habitat destruction, poaching, contamination of its food source, human population pressure and intensive agricultural practices (Rajeshkumar and Balasubramanian, 2011; Kushwaha and Kumar, 2016).

Pea fowls are facing a number of problems related to the health and performance in wild as well as in captivity. They are kept in captivity for conservation, recreation, study and research and to get economic benefits (Varadharajan and Kandasamy, 2000). The Punjab Wildlife Department has started the captive breeding program for pea fowls about ten years ago to increase their number in captivity, and for their reintroduction into wild. In captivity, they are under additional stress due to caged captivity, overcrowding, unnatural habitat, environmental conditions and suboptimal management. These captivity stressors reduced the immunity of bird and also cause change in behaviour (Athar et al., 2001; Khursheed et al., 2014).

Under captive conditions, the pea fowl are more susceptible to endo-parasites due to over-crowded enclosures, poor hygiene, improper use of anthelminthic drugs, poor and late health assessment (Khursheed et al., 2014; Pradeep et al., 2017). The nematodes, apicomplexans and platyhelminthes are the endo-parasites that infect the pea fowl. These parasites cause infections which are the most common health problem that distress the pea fowl and results either in a sub clinical condition or even death (El-Shahawy, 2010). The worst type of infections are those caused by gastrointestinal parasites which cause malnutrition and make the bird lethargic and sluggish (Badran and Lukesova, 2006). The gastrointestinal parasites harbour the intestine and lay their eggs in feces which reinfect the same bird and other birds either by direct contact with the feces or by an intermediate host. These parasites greatly affect the health of host by lowering the host resistance, causing damage to the gut epithelium and diarrhea, reduced the egg production and cause loss in body weight (Basit et al., 2014). The gastrointestinal parasites cause various infectious diseases in pea fowls, the most common is coccidiosis, caused by protozoan species belonging to genus Eimeria (El-Shahawy, 2010). The reported gastro-intestinal parasites that cause infections in peafowls are Hymenolepis sp., Davainea proglottina the platyhelminthis, Strongyloides sp., Strongyles sp., Heterakis gallinae, Ascaridia galli, Capillaria columbae and Acuaria spiralis, the nematodes, Cryptosporidium meleagridis and Eimeria sp. the apicomplexans (Titilincu et al., 2009; Basit et al., 2014; Kathiravan et al., 2017).

To eliminate the parasites, good management practices and the use of anthelmintic are the best methods. The anthelmintics are a group of anti-parasitic drugs that remove parasites from the body without causing any damage to the host. The modern anthelmintics are very effective and have wide range of activity against both larval and mature stages of endoparasites. Different anthalmentics have been reported in peafowl with wide range efficiency (Hegngi et al., 1999; Ashraf et al., 2002; Basit et al., 2014). The current study was conducted to find out the comparative efficacy of Albendazol and Levamisole against the gastrointestinal parasites in Indian peafowl kept in captivity. The Indian peafowl were selected for this study because they are available in almost every zoo and wildlife park. In wild, it also exists in good number. Being a calm bird, its handling is easy. The findings of this work may provide an up to date knowledge about gastrointestinal parasites infecting peafowl along with their medication with suitable anthelminthic drugs to minimize the parasitic infection.

Materials and methods

This study was conducted at the Jallo Wildlife Park, Lahore. The fecal samples were collected from 30 peafowl. The freshly dropped feces free from stones and dust were collected in labeled fecal cups with the help of sterilized spatula. The fecal cups were labeled with sample number, gender, date and anthalmentic drug treatment status. For safe transportation, both fecal samples were placed in cooler with ice packs. For examination samples were brought to Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Government College University, Faisalabad within 24 h.

The deworming of peafowl was done after first sampling by using two types of anthelmintic drugs, the Albendazole and the Levamisole. To check the efficacy of these two anthelmintic drugs, 30 peafowls were divided into two groups, each of 15 birds. One group was treated with Albendazole and the second was treated with Levamisole. After deworming, the fecal samples were again collected on day 7 and 15. The anthelmintic drugs were administered to the birds by mixing in drinking water. The dose of drug required for each bird was calculated on the basis of body weight as prescribed on the label (Khan et al., 2010; Tanveer et al., 2011).

The fecal samples were examined through qualitative and quantitative examination to detect the parasitic eggs and oocysts. The qualitative examination was performed by using flotation method. The flotation method was performed by using the protocol proposed by Dranzoa et al. (1999). Endo-parasites were identified by using identification key by Jaiswal et al. (2013). The quantitative examination was done by using modified Macmaster’s egg counting technique. (Khan et al., 2010).

The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was calculated by using following formula proposed by Fiaz (2013).

After measuring the EPG the drug efficacy was calculated by using following formula proposed by Basit et al. (2014).

The prevalence of the data was shown as percentage. To compare the efficacy of the drugs against the parasites, t-test was used.

Results and discussion

This study was conducted to check the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in peafowl kept in captivity at Jallo Wildlife Park and to select the best dewormer which gives a better remedy against the gastrointestinal parasites. The coprological examination revealed that 21 peafowl (8 males, 13 females) out of 30 examined peafowl (12 males, 18 females) were infected by the gastrointestinal parasites belonging to phyla Apicomplexa, Nematode and Platyhelminthes. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasite was 70% having total EPG 9150. The species found were Eimeria sp., Ascaridia sp., Strongyloides sp., Ascaris sp., Heterakis sp. and Hymenolepis sp. with the relevant prevalence 66.33%, 3.33%, 3.33%, 6.67%,

 

Table I. Species wise and overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in P. cristatus at Jallo Park, Lahore

Gastrointestinal parasites

No. of examined P.cristatus

No. of infected P. cristatus

Prevalence (%)

No. of gastrointestinal parasites observed

EPG

Male

Female

Eimeria sp.

30

6

13

66.33

150

7500

Ascaridia sp.

30

1

0

3.33

2

100

Strongyloides sp.

30

1

0

3.33

1

50

Ascaris sp.

30

1

1

6.67

22

1100

Heterakis sp.

30

1

0

3.33

1

50

Hymenolepis sp.

30

2

1

10

7

350

 

EPG, Egg per gram of feces.

 

Table II. Post-treatment comparative occurrence of Eimreia in P. cristatus at Jallo wildlife Park Lahore.

Anthelminthic drugs

Day 7

Day 15

Control

(n=15)

Albendazole (n=15)

Levamisole (n=15)

Albendazole

(n=15)

Levamisole (n=15)

Control

(n=15)

Mean ± S.E

66.33± 0.34

33.33 ± 0.18

10 ± 0.7

16.67 ± 0.18

10.0 ± 0.7

3.74

0.054S

 

N, no. of samples examined; S, Significant (p ≤ 0.05).

3.33 % and 10% respectively (Table I). The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites (70%) recorded in the present study correlated with the findings of Ashraf et al. (2002) and Basit et al. (2014). They reported the overall prevalence of gastrointestinal helminthes as 56.32% and 80.77%, respectively in peafowl at Lahore zoo.

In the present study, the most dominant parasitic species was Eimeria sp. having a highest prevalence 66.33%, which closely resembles with the study of Marniche et al. (2017) who found the highest prevalence of Eimeria sp. in blue peacocks at El Hamma test garden (58.30%) and Ben Aknoun National Park, Algeria (33.30%), respectively. Similar findings were also reported by Kathiravan et al. (2017). The prevalence of Hymenolepis sp. in the present study was 3.33%, which resembled the findings of Kathiravan et al. (2017) who found the prevalence of Hymenolepis sp., as 4.16 %. The Ascaridia sp. and Heterakis sp. had least prevalence 3.33%, which deviated from the study of Basit et al. (2014) and Ashraf et al. (2002). The highest prevalence of Eimeria sp. and least prevalence of Ascaridia sp., Strongyloides sp., Ascaris sp., Heterakis sp., and Hymenolepis sp. in the present study was due to the reason that the peafowl at Jallo Wildlife Park were regularly treated with anthelmintic drugs (personal communication), which are effective against cestodes and nematodes but not effective against Eimeria.

In the present study, the infected peafowl were treated with two broad spectrum anthelmintics to reduce the gastrointestinal parasites and to check their comparative efficacy against these parasites (Table II). After the drugs administration, only Eimeria sp. was observed. The post-treatment comparative occurrence of Eimeria sp. showed that the number of eggs of Eimeria sp. were significantly different (t= 3.749; p= 0.054) in Albendazole and Levamisole treated groups as the Albendazole mode of action was slow at day 7 and it progressively increase at day 15 while the Lemavisole mode of action was immediate. At day 7, the EPG of Eimeria sp. in Albendazole treated group was significantly higher than the Lemavisole treated group. At day 15, the EPG of Eimeria sp. in Albendazole treated group was significantly higher than the Levamisole treated group (Table II). The Eimeria sp. persisted even after the drug administration because it is coccidian while the Albendazole and Levamisole are anthelmintic drugs, therefore their EPG reduced to some extant but not eliminated completely.

 

Table III. Drug efficacy of Albendazole and Lavamisole against gastrointestinal parasites in P. cristatus at Jallo Wildlife Park Lahore.

Anthelminthic drugs

Day 7

Day 15

EPG

Efficacy (%)

EPG

Efficacy (%)

Albendazole

500

94.53

250

97.26

Levamisole

250

97.26

150

98.36

Control

975

----

979

---

 

EPG, Egg per gram of feces.

The present study revealed that the both drugs were effective in elimination of gastrointestinal parasites but Lemavisole was more efficacious. The efficacy of Levamisole on day 7 and day 15 was greater than Albendazole on day 7 and day 15 (Table III). These results correlates with the study of Ashraf et al. (2002) who reported that the Levamisole efficacy was 88.65% on day 5 and 97.93% on day 10 was greater than Albendazole 83.15% on day 5 and 95.6% on day 10. However, our findings are different from that of Basit et al. (2014) who reported that the Albendazole was more effective against the helminths in peafowl having efficacy 94.92% as compared to Pyrantel pamoate (78.34%).

Conclusion

The peafowls at Jallo Wildlife Park were infected with gastrointestinal parasites but physically they were healthy and active. As the Jallo wildlife Park is a public recreation point, visitors presence distress the peafowl. They lived in close association with each other and could not fly because of limited cage space. The park had poor sanitary conditions and sand was used as bedding material in the cages, which was not cleaned properly and acted as a reservoir of parasites and facilitated the transfer of parasites from feces to the bird. However, the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths was successfully controlled by Albendazole and Levamisole except Eimeria sp. which persisted even after the treatment. Although, its EPG reduced to some extent but it was not eliminated completely. The Levamisole was more effective anthelmintic against gastrointestinal parasites. The use of anti-coccidian drugs alone or in combination with other anthelmintic drugs are recommended.

Acknowledgement

We are thankful to Higher Education Commission (HEC) for providing financial assistance under project No. 5656/NRPU/RND/HEC/2016.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors have declared no potential conflict of interest.

References

Ashraf, M., Waraich, F.N., Ahmad, I.G. and Pervez, K., 2002. Pak. Vet. J., 22: 91-93.

Athar, M., Shakoor, A., Muhammad, G., Asi, M.N. and Saqib, M., 2001. Pak. Vet. J., 21: 92-94.

Badran, I. and Lukesova, D., 2006. Agric. Trop. Subtrop., 39: 39-43.

Basit, A., Ali, A.A., Malik, M. S., Malik, A. N., Iftikhar, M., Haq, H.M.A. and Nadeem, S.M., 2014. J. Infect. Mol. Biol.2: 22-25.

Dranzoa, C., Ocaido, M. and Katete, P., 1999. Avian Pathol., 28: 119-124. https://doi.org/10.1080/03079459994830

El-Shahawy, I.S., 2010. Mem. Instit. Oswaldo Cruz.105: 965-969. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762010000800003

Fiaz, M., 2013. Biol. Soc. Pak.59: 57-68. https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-68-57-2013

Hassan, M.M., Hoque, M.A., Islam, S.A., Khan, S.A., Hossain, M.B. and Banu, Q., 2012. Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci.36: 400-408.

Hegngi, F.N., Doerr, J., Cummings, T.S., Schwartz, R.D., Saunders, G., Zajac, A., Larsen, C.T. and Pierson, F.W., 1999. Vet. Parasitol., 8: 29-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(98)00233-7

Jaiswal, A.K., Sudan, V., Shanker, D. and Kumar, P., 2013. J. Parasit. Dis.37: 26-28.

Kathiravan, R.S., Ramachandran, P., Shanmuganathan, S., Karthikeyan, A., Sathiyamoorthy, N., Gollapalli, S. K., Silambarasan, R., Bhinsara. D. and Madesh, E., 2017. Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. appl. Sci.6: 366-371. https://doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2017.610.045

Khan, M.A., Khan, M.S., Shafee, M. and Khan, J.A., 2010. J. Anim. Pl. Sci., 20: 189-192. https://doi.org/10.5005/jp/books/11410_21

Khursheed, A., Sial, N., Malik, S. and Lashari, M.L., 2014. Std. Sci. Res. Essay, 2: 401-405.

Kushwaha, S. and Kumar, A. 2016. J. Wildl. Res., 4: 42-59.

Marniche, F., Milla, A., Dik, B., Laloui, F., Medkour, M., Nadjai, B. and Zerouki, S., 2017. Oltenia. Stud. Comun. Ştiinţele Nat., 33: 79-84.

Pradeep, R., Senthilkumar, A., Sangaran, A., Prathaban, S. and Pradeep, A., 2017. Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. appl. Sci.6: 2517-2521. https://doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2017.609.309

Rajeshkumar, N. and Balasubramanian, P., 2011. Indian Birds7: 125-127.

Tanveer, M.K., Kamran, A., Abbas, M., Umer, N.C., Azhar, M.A. and Munir, M., 2011. Trop. Biomed.28: 102-110.

Titilincu, A., Mircean, V., Bejan, A., Iovu, A., Ungureanu, R. and Cozma, V., 2009. Rev. Sci. Parasitol.10: 101-105.

Varadharajan, A. and Kandasamy, A., 2000. Zoo’s Print J., 15: 257-258. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.15.5.257-8

To share on other social networks, click on any share button. What are these?

Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Vol. 54, Iss. 1, Pages 1-501

Featuring

Click here for more

Subscribe Today

Receive free updates on new articles, opportunities and benefits


Subscribe Unsubscribe