BLOOD AND GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT PROTOZOA INFECTIONS OF DOMESTICATED CHICKEN SLAUGHTERED IN LAGOS CENTRAL, SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA.
This study investigated the prevalence and intensity of blood and intestinal protozoa infections of domestic chickens slaughtered at the oyingbo live-bird market in Lagos State, Nigeria. Blood and intestinal samples were collected from a total of 100 birds from October through December, 2016. Thin and thick smears of blood were parasitologically screened. Mucosal scrapings and intestinal contents were examined microscopically in the laboratory for other parasitic infections using wet preparation and ziehl-neelsen acid-fast staining techniques. Parasitaemia counts were estimated. Oocysts of eimeria spp. were recorded in the various sections of the alimentary canal. Plasmodium spp. were the only haemoprotozoa encountered in the study, with a prevalence of 16%. There was no statistically significant difference in malaria infection between sexes and breeds of chickens (p>0.05). of the birds sampled in the study, 22 (22%) were infected with eimeria spp., while 18 (18%) had cryptosporidium spp. infection. exotic breeds had higher prevalence rate of cryptosporidium spp. infection than the local breeds (p<0.05). There was however no statistically significant difference in the enteric protozoa infections between sexes of the chickens (p>0.05). Majority of the birds (72.2%) infected with cryptosporidium spp. had unapparent infections when compared to those with severe and low-grade infections (p<0.05). Eimeria spp. was most prevalent in the jejunum (29.41%) and occurred least in the large intestine (8.82%). The occurrence of protozoan infections among poultry in this study suggests the need for control, so as to deliver safe and wholesome poultry products.