*1Omeji, S., 2Yusufu, I. I. and 1Swem, M.A
1Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, P.M.B. 2373, Makurdi,
Benue State, Nigeria
2Department of Fisheries Technology, Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, Baga,
*Correspondent author’s: firstname.lastname@example.org, doi.org/10.55639/607dcba
Gastrointestinal helminth parasites of Clarias gariepinus from three selected Fish Farms in Makurdi, Benue State was evaluated. 90 C. gariepinus comprising 30 samples each were randomly obtained from three selected fish farms in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria designated as farms A, B, and C. They were identified based on external features and sexes were determined. The lengths and weights were measured and recorded before dissection. Parasites observed were identified using morphological characteristics. Of the 90 C. gariepinus examined, 51 (56.67%) samples were infected and observed to harbour 139 different helminths parasites. Of the 139 helminth parasites belonging to 2 taxonomic groups of parasites (1 species of Cestoda – Diphyllobothrium latum and 3 species of Nematoda – Capillaria spp., Camallanus spp., and Eustrongylides sp). 139 helminth parasites comprising of 49, 37 and 53 parasites were recovered from 18, 13 and 20 infected fish from fish farms A, B and C, respectively. The highest prevalence (66.67%) was recorded for fish samples from Farm C fish farm while the lowest (43.33%) was recorded for fish samples from Farm B. The prevalence of parasitic infection from Farm A (60.0%) and Farm C fish farm (66.67%) was significantly higher than that of Farm B (43.33%) (p<0.05). Variations in parasite prevalence existed between the maleand females across the three farms being higher in females (64.71%) compared to males (53.85%) from Farm A but higher in males from Farm B (44.44%) and Farm C fish farm (93.75%) compared to the female (42.86% and 35.71%), respectively. Helminth parasites were most abundant in the stomach (40.82%) of the infected C. gariepinus from Farm A but least in the rectum (8.16%). In contrast, helminth parasites were most abundant in the intestine C. gariepinus from farm B (35.14%) and Farm C fish farm (33.96%) but least in the rectum (16.22%) and (16.98%) from victory and Farm C fish farms, respectively. Generally, the highest number of helminth parasites was recorded for the intestine while the least was recorded for the rectum except for Farm A where the highest number of helminth parasites was recorded for the stomach of the infected fish samples. Variation in parasite prevalence existed among the length and weight groups of C. gariepinus across the three farms. Generally, a higher rate of parasitic infection was observed in the larger size of C. gariepinus than in the smaller ones.