Abstract: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2008-March 2009 in Adigudem and Kwiha districts in Tigray regional state, with the objectives of identifying the prevalence of haemoparasites and the associated risk factors in working donkeys. Blood samples were collected from a total 400 randomly selected donkeys and examined by dark ground/phase contrast buffy coat technique and Giemsa stained blood smears. The overall prevalence of haemoparasites was found to be 2.5% (n = 10) without significant variation between the two districts (p>0.05). Two genera of haemoparasites namely Babesia and Trypansomes were observed with the prevalence of 1.75% (n = 7) and 0.75 % (n = 3), respectively. Two species of Babesia were identified: Babesia equi (71.43%) and Babesia caballi (28.6%) while Trypanosoma vivax was the only trypanosome encountered during the study period. No significant association was observed between the prevalence of either of the two haemoparasites and the hypothesized risk factors (study area, sex, age and body condition score) (p>0.05 for all factors). The mean Packed Cell Volume (PCV) of trypanosome infected donkeys (20.67±4.04) was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of non-infected donkeys (28.68±5.73); however, no significant difference was observed between Babesia positive and Babesia free animals (p>0.05). In conclusion, the prevalence of haemoparasites observed in the current study is generally low compared to previous studies. As the present study design was a cross-sectional one that only depicts a momentary picture of the infection status in the herd, a further longitudinal study that makes use of molecular techniques is recommended.
Berhanu Mekibib, Mesfin Manegerew, Abebayehu Tadesse, Fufa Abuna, Bekele Megersa, Alemayehu Regassa, Solomon Mekuria and Rahmeto Abebe, 2010. Prevalence of Haemoparasites and Associated Risk Factors in Working Donkeys in Adigudem and Kwiha Districts of Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 9: 2249-2255.