Open Access
Research (Published online: 19-09-2018)
16. The prevalence and intensity of external and internal parasites in working donkeys (Equus asinus) in Egypt
Marwa M. Attia, Marwa M. Khalifa and Marwa Th. Atwa
Veterinary World, 11(9): 1298-1306

Marwa M. Attia: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
Marwa M. Khalifa: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
Marwa Th. Atwa: Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Al-Fayoum University, Egypt.

doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2018.1298-1306

Share this article on [Facebook] [LinkedIn]

Article history: Received: 14-05-2018, Accepted: 26-07-2018, Published online: 19-09-2018

Corresponding author: Marwa M. Attia


Citation: Attia MM, Khalifa MM, Atwa MT (2018) The prevalence and intensity of external and internal parasites in working donkeys (Equus asinus) in Egypt, Veterinary World, 11(9):1298-1306.

Aim: This study aims to record and update the prevalence and intensity of external and internal parasites in working donkeys (Equus asinus) in Egypt during the period from January to December 2017.

Materials and Methods: A total of 120 donkeys (10 donkeys each month) were examined at Giza zoo abattoir through bimonthly visits. The examined donkeys were obtained from five governorates (Giza [20], Fayoum [40], Beni Suef [30], Monofia [20], and Assiut [10]). The animals were grouped according to age and sex.

Results: All examined donkeys were positive with at least one internal or even external parasitic species. The overall prevalence rate was 100%. A total of 11 helminths species (10 nematodes and 1 metacestode); 7 protozoal and 7 arthropod species were collected. The number of each parasite and intensity of infection with regard to age and sex was recorded.

Conclusion: All examined donkeys were infected with parasites with an overall prevalence of 100%. So, we recommended following up and continuous treatment of such diseased animal.

Keywords: arthropods, donkeys, Egypt, external parasites, helminths, internal parasites, protozoa.


1. FAO. Mountain Farming is Family Farming, a contribution from mountain areas to the International Year of Family Farming 2014, Last accessed on 15-07-2018.

2. Starkey, P. and Starkey, M. (2013) Regional and World Trends in Donkey Populations and Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa Improving Donkey Utilization and Management. ATENSA, DebreZeit, Ethiopia. p230-237.

3. Pereira, J.R. and Vianna, S.S. (2006) Gastrointestinal parasitic worms in equines in the Paraiba Valley, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. J. Vet. Parasitol., 140: 289-295. [Crossref] [PubMed]

4. Getahun, T.K. and Kassa, T.Z. (2017) Prevalence and species of major gastrointestinal parasites of donkeys in Tenta Woreda, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. J. Vet. Med. Anim. Health, 9(2): 23-31. [Crossref]

5. Mahdy, O.A., Nassar, A.M., Mohamed, B.S. and Mahmoud, M.S. (2016) Comparative diagnosis utilizing molecular and serological techniques of Theileria equi infection in distinct equine populations in Egypt. Int. J. Chem. Tech Res., 9(6): 185-197.

6. Holland, W.G., Do, T.T. and Huong, N.T. (2003) The effect of Trypanosoma evansi infection on pig performance and vaccination against classical swine fever. Vet. Parasitol., 111(2-3): 115-123. [Crossref]

7. Soulsby, E.J.L. (1986) Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals. 7th ed. Bailliere Tindall, London. p167-174.

8. Henriksen, S.A. and Pohlenz, J.F. (1981) Staining of Cryptosporidium by a modified Ziehl-Neelsen technique. Act. Vet. Scand., 22: 594-596. [PubMed]

9. Bancroft, J.D. and Stevens, A. (1996) The haematoxylin and eosin. In: Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques. 4th ed. Churchill Living Stone, London, New York & Tokyo.

10. Kornas, S., Gawor, J., Cabaret, J., Molenda, K., Skalska, M. and Nowosad, B. (2009) Morphometric identification of equid cyathostome (Nematoda: Cyathostominae) infective larvae. Vet. Parasitol., 162: 290-294. [Crossref] [PubMed]

11. Lichtenfels, J.R. (1975) Helminths of domestic equids. Illustrated keys to genera and species with emphasis on North American Forms. Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Washin., 42: 1-92.

12. Tolliver, S.C. (2000) A Practical Method of Identification of the North American Cyathostomes (Small Strongyles) in Equids in Kentucky. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary Science, Lexington, KY, USA. Bulletin Number SR-2000-1.

13. Bush, A.O., Lafferty, K.D., Lotz, J.M. and Shostak, A.W. (1997) Parasitology meets ecology on its own terms: Margolis et al. revisited. J Parasitol., 83: 575-583. [Crossref] [PubMed]

14. Vereruysse, J., Harris, E.A., Kaboret, Y.Y., Pangui, L.J. and Gibson, D.I. (1986) Gastro-intestinal helminths of donkeys in Burkina Faso. Z. Parasitenkd., 72: 821-825. [Crossref]

15. Pandey, V.S., Ouhelli, H. and Verhulst, A. (1992) Epidemiological observations on stomach worms of donkeys in Morocco. Vet. Res. Commun., 16: 273-279. [Crossref] [PubMed]

16. Aypak, S. and Burgu, A. (2013) Prevalence of the stomach helminths in equines. Vet. Fak. Derg., 24(1): 29-35.

17. Shrikhande, G., Rewatkar, S., Deshmukh, S., Maske, D. and Raghorte, Y. (2009) The incidence of helminth parasites in donkeys. Vet. World, 2(6): 224.

18. Ayele, G., Feseha, G., Bojia, E. and Joe, A. (2006) Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of donkeys in Dugda Bora District, Ethiopia. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 18: 2-6.

19. Fikru, R., Reta, D., Teshale, S. and Bizunesh, M. (2005) Prevalence of equine gastrointestinal parasites in western highlands of Oromia, Ethiopia. Bull. Anim. Health Prod. Afr., 53(3): 161-1. [Crossref]

20. Alemayehu, H. (1995) Prevalence of Equine Helminthiasis in Specific Site of Arsi and Bale Region. DVM Thesis, Addis Ababa University, FVM, Debrezeit.

21. Sinasi, U. (2009) A survey on helminth infections of equines in the Central Black Sea region, Turkey. J. Vet. Anim. Sci., 33(5): 373-378.

22. Ayele, G. and Dinka, A. (2010) Study on strongyles and parascaris parasites population in working donkeys of central Shoa, Ethiopia. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 22(12): 1-5.

23. Yoseph, S., Feseha, G. and Abebe, W. (2001) Survey on helminthosis of equines in Wonchi, Ethiopia. J. Ethiop. Vet. Assoc., 5: 47-46.

24. Takele, B. and Nibret, E. (2013) Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminthes of donkeys and mules in and around Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Vet. J., 17(1): 13-30. [Crossref]

25. Tolliver, S.C., Lyons, E.T. and Drudge, J.H. (1985) Species of small strongyles and other internal parasites recovered from donkeys at necropsy in Kentucky. Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Wash., 52(2): 260-265.

26. Eysker, M. and Pandey, V.S. (1989) Small strongyles infections in donkeys from the highveld in Zimbabwe. Vet. Parasitol., 30(4): 345-349. [Crossref]

27. Matthee, S., Krecek, R.C. and Milne, S.A. (2000) Prevalence and biodiversity of helminth parasites in donkeys from South Africa. J. Parasitol., 86(4): 756-762. [Crossref]

28. Kuzmina, T.A., Kharchenko, V.A., Trawford, A. and Getachew, M. (2007) The Strongylid Nematodes of Working Donkeys from Ethiopia. 21th International Conference World Assassin for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), Gent, Belgium. p380.

29. Getachew, M., Trawford, A., Feseha, G. and Reid, S.W. (2010) Gastrointestinal parasites of working donkeys of Ethiopia. Trop. Anim. Health Prod., 42(1): 27-33. [Crossref] [PubMed]

30. Trawford, A. and Getachew, M. (2008) Parasites. In: Duncan, J. and Hadrill, D., editors. The Professional Handbook of the Donkey. 4th ed. Whittet Books Limited., South House, Yatesbury, Wiltshire, UK. p82-101.

31. Wells, D., Krecek, R.C., Wells, M., Guthrie, A.J. and Lourens, J.C. (1998) Helminth levels of working donkeys kept under different management systems in the Moretele 1 district of the North West Province, South Africa, Vet. Parasitol., 77: 163-177. [Crossref]

32. Sapkota, C.R. (2009) A Report on Prevalence of Helminthes Parasites in Mules of Brick Kiln of Lalitpur District. Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. Purbanchal University Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur.

33. Pal, R.A. and Qayyum, M. (1992) Breed, age and sex wise distribution of helminthes of sheep and goats in and around Rawalpindi region. Pak. Vet. J., 12: 60-63.

34. Souza, D.P.N., Bomfim, T.C., Huber, F., Abboud, L.C. and Gomes, R.S. (2009) Natural infection by Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia sp. and Eimeria leuckarti in three groups of equines with different handlings in Rio de Janeiro. Braz. Vet. Parasitol., 160: 327-333. [Crossref] [PubMed]

35. Laatamnaa, A., Wagnerova, P., Sak, B., Kveto'nova, D., Xiao, L., Roste, M., McEvoy, J., Saadig, A.R., Aissi, M. and Kva'c, M. (2015) Microsporidia and Cryptosporidium in horses and donkeys in Algeria: Detection of a novel Cryptosporidium hominis subtype family (Ik) in a horse. Vet. Parasitol., 208: 135-142. [Crossref] [PubMed]

36. Majewska, A.C., Solarczyk, P., Tamang, L. and Graczyk, T.K. (2004) Equine Cryptosporidium parvum infections in western Poland. Parasitol. Res., 93: 274-278. [Crossref] [PubMed]

37. Sturdee, A.P., Bodley-Tickell, A.T., Archer, A. and Chalmers, R.M. (2003) Long-term study of Cryptosporidium prevalence on a lowland farm in the United Kingdom. Vet. Parasitol., 116: 97-113. [Crossref]

38. Caffara, M., Piva, S., Pallaver, F., Iacono, E. and Galuppi, R. (2013) Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. from foals in Italy. Vet. J., 198: 531-533. [Crossref] [PubMed]

39. Grinberg, A., Pomroy, W.E., Carslake, H.B., Shi, Y., Gibson, I.R. and Drayton, B.M. (2009) A study of neonatal cryptosporidiosis of foals in New Zealand. N. Z. Vet. J., 5: 284-289. [Crossref] [PubMed]

40. Wannas, H.Y., Dawood, K. and Gassem, G. (2012) Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in horses and donkeys in Al Diwaniyah governorate, Al-Qadisiya. J. Vet. Med. Sci., 11: 841-855.

41. Studzinska, B.M., Tomczuk. K. and Sadzikowski, A. (2008) Prevalence of Eimeria leuckarti in horses and usefulness of some coproscopical methods for its detection. Bull. Vet. Inst. Pulawy, 52: 541-544.

42. Ghahfarrokhi, E.K., Ahmadi, A., Shahraki, S.G. and Azizi, H. (2014) Eimeria leuckarti (Flesch, 1883; Reichenow, 1940) from worker horses and donkeys of Shahrekord, Iran. Int. J. Adv. Biol. Biomed. Res., 2(6):1980-1984.

43. Atawalna, J., Emikpe, B.O., Sallah, E.K., Shaibu, W. and Folitse, R.D. (2015) The health problems, gastrointestinal and blood parasites commonly associated with donkeys in the upper east region of Ghana. Afr. J. Biomed. Res., 8: 37-41.

44. Nakayima, J., Kabasa, W., Aleper, D. and Okidi, D. (2017) Prevalence of endo-parasites in donkeys and camels in Karamoja sub-region, North-eastern Uganda. J. Vet. Med. Anim. Health, 9(1): 11-15. [Crossref]

45. Fukuyo, M., Battsetseg, G. and Byambaa, B. (2002) Prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in horses in Mongolia, Southeast Asian. J. Trop. Med. Public Health, 33: 718-719. [PubMed]

46. Khan, A., Khan, M.S., Avais, M., Ijaz, M., Ali, M.M. and Abbas, T. (2013) Prevalence, hematology, and treatment of balantidiasis among donkeys in and around Lahore, Pakistan. Vet. Parasitol., 196: 203-205. [Crossref] [PubMed]

47. Dissanayake, S., Rajapakse, J. and Rajakaruna, R.S. (2017) Gastrointestinal parasites of domesticated and Feral Horses (Equus caballus) in Sri Lanka. Ceylon J. Sci., 46: 17-26. [Crossref]

48. Mushi, E.Z., Binta, M.G., Chabo, R.G. and Monnafela, L. (2003) Seasonal fluctuation of parasitic infestation in donkeys (Equus asinus) in Oodi village, Kgatleng District, Botswana. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc., 74(1): 24-26. [Crossref] [PubMed]

49. Gizachew, A., Schuster, R.K., Joseph, S., Wernery, R., Georgy, N.A., Elizabeth, S.K., Asfaw, Y. and Regassa, F. (2013) Piroplasmosis in donkeys. A hematological and serological study in central Ethiopia. J Equine Vet. Sci., 33: 18-21. [Crossref]

50. Mekibib, B., Manegerew, M., Tadesse, A., Abuna, F., Megersa, B. and Regassa, A. (2010) Prevalence of haemoparasites and associated risk factors in working donkeys in Adigurem and Kwiha districts of Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia. J. Anim.Vet. Adv. 9(17):2249-2255. [Crossref]

51. Tefera, M., Worku, A., Tolosa, T. and Bitew, M. (2011) Prevalence and risk factors for donkey babesiosis in and around Debre Zeit, Central Ethiopia. Vet. Res., 4: 56-60.

52. Zweygart, E., Just, M.C., Waal, D.T. and Lopez-Rebollar, L.M. (1999) In vitro diagnosis of Babesia equi. In: Wernery U, Wade FJ, Mumford JA, Kaaden OR, editors. Equine Infectious Diseases VIII. In: Proceedings of the 8th Equine Infectious Diseases Conference. Newmarket: R & W Publications, Dubai, UAE. p232e6.

53. Hilali, M., Derhalli, F.S. and Baraka, A. (1987) Incidence and monthly prevalence (Equus asinus) in Egypt. Vet. Parasitol., 23: 297-305. [Crossref]

54. Otranto, D., Milillo, P., Capelli, G. and Colwell, D.D. (2005) Species composition of Gasterophilus spp. (Diptera, Oestridae) causing equine gastric myiasis in southern Italy: Parasite biodiversity and risks for extinction. Vet. Parasitol., 133: 111-118. [Crossref] [PubMed]

55. Hoglund, J., Ljungstrom, B.L., Nilsson, O., Lundquist, H., Osterman, E. and Uggla, A. (1997) Occurrence of Gasterophilus intestinalis and some parasitic nematodes of horses in Sweden. Acta Vet. Scand., 38: 157-165. [PubMed]

56. Sweeney, H.J. (1990) The prevalence and pathogenicity of G. intestinalis larvae in horses in Ireland. Irish Vet. J., 43: 67-73.

57. Edwards, G.T. (1982) The prevalence of Gasterophilus intestinalis in horses in northern England and Wales. Vet. Parasitol., 11: 215-222. [Crossref]

58. Principato, M. (1988) Classification of the main macroscopic lesions produced by larvae of Gasterophilusspp. (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in free-ranging horses in Umbria. Cornell Vet., 78: 43-52. [PubMed]

59. Rehbein, S., Visser, M. and Winter, R. (2013) Prevalence, intensity and seasonality of gastrointestinal parasites in abattoir horses in Germany. Parasitol. Res., 112: 407-413. [Crossref] [PubMed]

60. Mezgebu, T., Tafess, K. and Tamiru, F. (2013) Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of horses and donkeys in and around Gondar Town, Ethiopia. Open J. Vet. Med. (OJVM), 3(6): 267-272. [Crossref]

61. Nalan, O., Kamile, B., Ozlem, O. and Serdar, D. (2010) Presence of Gasterophilus species in horses in van region. Vet. Fak. Derg., 21(2): 87-90.

62. Hilali, M., Mahdy, O.A. and Attia, M.M. (2015) Monthly variations of Rhinoestrus spp. (Diptera: Oestridae) larvae infesting donkeys in Egypt: Morphological and molecular identification of third stage larvae. J. Adv. Res., 6: 1015-1021. [Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

63. AL Anazi, A.D. and Alyousif, M.S. (2011) Prevalence of non-gastrointestinal parasites strongyle of horses in Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia. Saudi J. Biol. Sci., 18: 299-303. [Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

64. Nicholson, W.L., Paddock, C. D., Demma, L., Traeger, M., Johnson, B., Dickson, J., McQuiston, J. and Swerdlow, J. (2006) Rocky mountain spotted fever in Arizona: Documentation of heavy environmental infestations of Rhipicephalus sanguineus at an endemic site. Ann. N. Y. Acad Sci., 1078: 338-341. [Crossref] [PubMed]

65. Reinemeyer, C.R., Smith, S.A., Gabel, A.A. and Herd, R.P. (1984) Prevalence and intensity of internal parasites of horses in the USA. Vet. Parasitol., 15(1): 75-83. [Crossref]

66. Bucknell, D.G., Gasser, R.B. and Beveridge, I. (1995) The prevalence and epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites of horses in Victoria, Australia. Int. J. Parasitol., 25(6): 711-724. [Crossref]