OCCURRENCE OF SALMONELLAE, ECTO- AND GASTRO-INTESTINAL PARASITES AND ASSESSMENT OF BIOSECURITY IN KANO ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Infectious and parasitic diseases in zoo animals affect their welfare, reproduction and longevity and pose health threat to researchers, visitors and staff of zoological garden. The aim of this study was to assess biosecurity and determine occurrence of Salmonellae, ecto-and gastro-intestinal parasites (GIP) in Kano zoological garden, Nigeria (KZG). A total of 388 samples were collected from 161 wild animals by non-random sampling method. The distribution of the samples was: one hundred and eleven cloacal swabs from wild birds; one hundred and seventy faecal samples from carnivores (28), herbivores (62), non-human primates (35) and wild birds (45); one hundred and seven ectoparasite (EP) samples from herbivores (2), carnivores (53), non-human primates (27) and wild birds (25). Conventional biochemical tests were used to identify Salmonella species after which suspected/confirmed isolates were subjected to antimicrobial sensitivity test using a panel of 12 antimicrobial agents. Simple flotation technique and microscopic examination methods were used to identify gastro-intestinal parasite eggs/oocysts and ecto-parasites respectively. Of the total faecal and rectal swab samples (196) examined for Salmonella, seven isolates (3.57%) were confirmed; two were from lions (Panthera leo), one each from bush buck (Tragalophus scriptus), Cape eland (Tragalophus oryx), Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus), parrot(Psittacus erithacus) and crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) respectively. The occurrence of Salmonella was 7.14% in carnivores, 5.76% in herbivores and 2.7% in wild birds while theoverall occurrence in KZG was 4.8%. All the Salmonella isolates (100%) showed multidrug-resistance (MDR) pattern with resistance profile of 3-4. However, none of the isolates showed mild, extensive or pan drug resistance. Eggs and oocysts were identified from 85 faecal samples: Ascaris from tortoise; Enterobius from chimpanzee; Strongyle from tantalus, red patas and tortoise; Taenia from lion; Toxocara from lion, Nubian vulture and mangoose;

Trichurid from baboon, buffalo, porcupine, red patas and tantalus; Coccidia from peacockand red patas; and Isospora from lion and mangoose. The occurrence of GIP egg was highest among non-human primates (37%) and lowest among wild birds (13.5%). Among herbivores, the occurrence was 26.9% while in carnivores was 14.28%. The gastro-intestinal parasite richness count (GIPRC) among carnivores, herbivores, non-human primates and wild birds was 5/3, 5/3, 7/4 and 4/2 respectively. The overall occurrence of GIP eggs and oocysts in KZG was 63% and GIPRC was 21/8. Bug (Cimex lectularius) was identified from baboon and red patas; and Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick from buffalo and common jackal. The occurrence of EP and ecto-parasite richness count (EPRC) among buffalos, common jackal, baboon, red patas and spotted eagle owl were 100% and 2/3; 33% and 2/3; 25% and 1/3; 16% and 2/3; 20% and 1/3 respectively. Of the nine components of zoo biosecurity assessed in KZG, quarantine practices had highest biosecurity risk (100%) and risk level (2.6) while work and hygiene practices for staff and visitors poses lowest biosecurity risk of 58.3% and risk level of 2.0. Audit and validation of biosecurity practices in property management and wildlife sections revealed breaches in traffic control, isolation and sanitation in many sections (70%) of KZG.

OCCURRENCE OF SALMONELLAE, ECTO- AND GASTRO-INTESTINAL PARASITES AND ASSESSMENT OF BIOSECURITY IN KANO ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN, NIGERIA