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Coprological survey of gastrointestinal parasites of mammals in Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens, Sri Lanka

Authors:

A.J.M. Kethmini Aviruppola ,

Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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R.P.V. Jayanthe Rajapakse,

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Rupika S. Rajakaruna

Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

A cross sectional, coprological survey on gastrointestinal (GI) parasites of captive mammals in the Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens was carried out in 2014. Fresh faecal samples from all the mammal species belonging to nine orders: Primates, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, Proboscidea, Erinaceomorpha, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Diprotodontia were analyzed. Intensity of parasite infections was determined using the McMaster technique. Of the 70 samples, 44 (62.9%) were positive for one or more GI parasites. A total of 13 types of GI parasite eggs, cysts and/or oocysts of Trichuris sp., Strongyloides sp., Toxocara sp., Spirometra sp., Moniezia sp., Nematodirus sp., Giardia sp., Blastocystis sp., Balantidium sp., Entamoeba spp., strongyle type eggs, hookworm, and coccidian oocyts were observed. The most common stage was strongyle type egg (17.1%) followed by cysts of Entamoeba spp. (14.3%). Of the infected individuals, 25% had mixed infections. A higher prevalence of helminths (81.8%) compared to protozoans (47.7%) was observed but this difference was not statistically significant (Chi square test; p>0.05). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of infection among the captive bred, imported or wild caught individuals (Chi square test; p>0.05). Mammals of seven orders were infected with GI parasites but lagomorphs and diprotodonts did not have any parasites. Among the herbivores, strongyle type, Moneizia, Entamoeba and coccidian infections were common while Nematodirus sp. in a porcupine and Spirometra sp. in a flying squirrel were rare. Common parasites of carnivores were, Toxocara and Entamoeba but Blastocystis sp. in coati was a rare infection. Trichuris and Giardia infections were common in Primates. High worm burden was evidenced in silver leaf monkey, Hamadryas baboon, African lion, black rhino, pony, porcupine and flying squirrel. Although regular deworming is carried out, results of this survey highlight the importance of faecal analysis before administering deworming and applying a more targeted approach to manage the pathogenic species. This study provides baseline data on the GI parasites of all the mammal orders at Dehiwala Zoological Gardens.

How to Cite: Aviruppola, A. J. M. K., Rajapakse, R. P. V. J., & Rajakaruna, R. S. (2016). Coprological survey of gastrointestinal parasites of mammals in Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens, Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 45(1), 83–96. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v45i1.7367
Published on 22 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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