Seasonal prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes in communal land goats from the highveld of Zimbabwe

Vet Parasitol. 1994 Feb;51(3-4):241-8. doi: 10.1016/0304-4017(94)90161-9.


On six occasions during a 1 year period, goats run on communal pastures by small-scale farmers, were purchased, housed indoors for 3 weeks and autopsied for examination of their gastrointestinal nematode burden. All of the 32 goats examined were infected. The four dominant species, Haemonchus contortus, Trichostrongylus axei, Trichostrongylus colubriformis and Oesophagostomum columbianum, were present in 88-97% of the animals. Three other nematodes, Strongyloides papillosus, Bunostomum spp. and Trichuris spp. occurred respectively in 9%, 3% and 21% of the goats. The total nematode burden was least at the end of the dry season in November and increased gradually through the rainy season to reach a peak at the end of the rains in April. The population of H. contortus followed the same trend as that of the total worm burden. Trichostrongylus colubriformis showed a peak in April and T. axei in June. The fourth stage larvae (L4) of H. contortus accounted for 0-6.8% of the total H. contortus population during most of the year except in August, when they comprised 46.1% of the burden. It can be concluded that there is a direct relationship between rainfall and intensity of infection with gastrointestinal nematodes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Goat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Goats
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Nematode Infections / epidemiology
  • Nematode Infections / veterinary*
  • Prevalence
  • Rain
  • Seasons
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology