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Parasites, haematology and morphological changes in tissues of a migratory Bubulcus Ibis



Cattle egret having been used in the control of flies and other insects on cattle also has been implicated in the transmission of different diseases including parasites. This migratory bird was studied to see the type of parasites it carries and its hematologic status as an indicator of health. The bird was found, caught and brought to the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology of the University for Routine Helminth Ova and Protozoan cyst screening using parasitological techniques. Also, tissues were harvested for histopathological examination. Haematologic and clinical chemistry analysis was carried out. Clinically, the bird showed emaciation, dissipation and inability to fly.
No helminth ova or protozoan cysts were recovered from faecal examination, however, Heterakis gallinarum and Echinostoma species were recovered as adults from the posterior guts. Grossly, most of the organs were within the normal textural and conformational limits, except for the liver, which showed moderate congestion and enlargement. Microscopically, the liver revealed congestion of the venules, moderate distortion of the hepatic plates, swollen hepatocytes and obliteration of the sinusoid. The presence of the nematode, Heterakis gallinarum, has an implication on disease transmission to domestic birds while Echinostoma species are zoonotic thus humans can be predisposed to infection from these migratory birds. The haematology report is an indication of poor health due to its lower margin of normal values. An understanding of the parasites and lesions in the bird would aid evaluating the health status of the migratory bird and the public health implication of its presence.


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