Jallailudeen Rabana Lawal1*, Umar Isa Ibrahim1, Abdullahi Abubakar Biu2, Hassan Ismail Musa3
1Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri,
P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
2Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
3Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Maiduguri, P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org, doi.org/10.55639/607.797877
Reporting the occurrence of haemosporidian parasites infection in birds in particular, is crucial for designing an efficient control programs targeted at minimizing the risks of transmission. A total of 800 rural chickens from Kaltungo, Nigeria were screened for haemosporidian parasites using standard parasitological techniques. Epidemiological risk factors associated with haemosporidian parasite infections were assessed using chi-square or Fisher’s exact test. In total, 18.1% (145/800; 95% CI: 15.6 – 21.0) of chickens harboured one or more genera of haemosporidian parasites: Plasmodium species (9.0%; 95% CI: 7.2 – 11.2), Haemoproteus species (3.1%; 95% CI: 2.1 – 4.6) and Leucocytozoon species (1.0%; 95% CI: 0.5 – 2.0). Mixed haemosporidian parasitic infections Haemoproteus spp./Plasmodium spp. (3.4%; 95% CI: 2.3 – 4.9); Leucocytozoon spp./Plasmodium spp. (1.1%; 95% CI: 0.6 – 2.1) and Haemoproteus spp./Leucocytozoon spp./Plasmodium (0.5%; 95% CI: 0.2 – 1.3) were also encountered among infected chickens. Although not statistically significant (p = 0.1420; p > 0.05; χ2= 2.156), the prevalence of haemosporidian parasites was higher in chickens from households (10.1%; 95% CI: 8.2 – 12.4) than live birds markets (8.0%; 95% CI: 6.3 – 10.1). Male (OR=3.45; p<0.0001), adult (OR=2.931; p<0.0001) and rainy season (OR= 0.19; p<0.0001) were strongly associated with Plasmodium infection. Similarly, statistically significant risk factors identified for mixed haemosporidian infections were age (p=0.0139), sex (p=0.0001) and season (p<0.0001). However, sex (p=0.2245), age (p=0.0040) and season (p=0.2221) were statistically not significant for Haemoproteus spp. infections. For, Leucocytozoon spp., significant risk factors were age (p=0.0081) and season (p=0.0075), while sex (p=0.0694) was not significant risk factor for Leucocytozoonosis in Rural chickens.