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Intestinal cestodes of poultry Raillietina echinobothrida and Choanotaenia Infundibulum infection in a commercial Japanese quail (coturnix coturnix japonica) farm in Apomu, Osun State, Nigeria

O.W. Gamra, R.E. Antia, O. O. Falohun

Abstract


Raillietina echinobothrida and Choanotaenia infundibulum are important species of cosmopolitan cestodes of poultry occurring in the small intestine and transmitted by ants, houseflies and beetles. Ten moribund and fifteen carcasses of Japanese quail birds (Coturnix coturnix japonica) with heavy intestinal tapeworm infection were brought to the post-mortem section of the department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Ibadan. The farmer reported that there was sporadic mortality (11.2%) on his farm as he has lost almost 112 birds of a total flock size of 1000 capacity within the space of two weeks as an average of 8 mortalities were recorded per day prior to the time of presentation. Postmortem examination revealed severe emaciation of the breast muscles and protrusion of the keel bone, as intestinal lumen of all the carcasses was severely filled with whitish worms measuring about 15cm-25cm in length as their anterior ends were firmly attached to the intestinal mucosal and dark red exudates (digested blood) was seen. Histopathology reveals transverse section of worms associated with sloughing off, necrosis and degeneration of intestinal villi. The worms were confirmed to be Choanotaenia infundibulum and Raillietina echinobothrida. This is the first recorded case of Choanotaenia infundibulum and Raillietina echinobothrida infection in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) in Nigeria. This report may be an alert of the possibility of on-going pathogenicity of these poultry cestodes in quails in Nigeria. We strongly encourage quail farmers to frequently change the birds' bedding and always keep it dry which can help to avoid infections because it shortens the survival of the gravid segments and the eggs. Also farmers should put up measures to avoid contamination of feed with ants, houseflies and beetles, and also prevent access of these intermediate hosts to birds as chemical control of flies, ants and termites in poultry houses is essential for the prevention of these pathogenic helminth infections. However, for both economic and ecologic reasons, outdoor use of insecticides should not be a routine practice.


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