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Gastrointestinal and pulmonary parasites of working horses from Colombia

Ramírez-Hernández, Alejandro, Polo, Gina, Robayo-Sánchez, Laura N., Cruz-Maldonado, Oscar A., Imbacuán-Pantoja, Wilson O., Cortés-Vecino, Jesús A.
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2019 v.17 pp. 100296
Anoplocephalidae, Dictyocaulus, Eimeria, Oxyuris, Parascaris, Strongylidae, Strongyloides, eggs, feces, gastrointestinal system, horses, income, infectious diseases, larvae, mixed infection, oocysts, parasites, parasitoses, risk, working animals, Colombia
Working equids are used in different countries for numerous purposes and regularly are crucial for multiple communities' income and profit. Historically, in Bogotá D.C. they were used as animal-powered vehicles but in 2013 it was initiated a substitution and adoption program as a result of society pressure and lawful processes. Infectious diseases and mainly parasitic diseases, poses a threat in the health and productivity of these animals. Our aim was to identify, by coproparasitological methods, the gastrointestinal and pulmonary parasite species infecting working horses submitted to the mentioned substitution and adoption program. Between May and December 2013 and February and July 2014, fresh faecal samples were obtained from 1004 and 648 horses from Bogotá D.C. and other Colombian municipalities, respectively. They were processed by flotation and Baermann tests in order to visualize faecal parasitic forms (eggs, oocysts, and larvae). Prevalences were calculated for each gastrointestinal parasite at origin and one year after, at destination, and analysed by age group and coinfection. At origin (Bogotá D.C.), prevalence for at least one parasite species was 87.5% and one year later, at destination (other municipalities), was 89.5%. The most prevalent species were strongyles (86.4–89.4%) followed by Parascaris spp. (0.7–6.2%), cestodes (Anoplocephalidae) (3.7–4.9%) and Oxyuris sp. (2.8–4.3%). Other species detected were Eimeria sp., Strongyloides sp. and Dictyocaulus sp. Coinfection by two or more species ranged between 14.4 and 38.3% being strongyle, Parascaris spp., Oxyuris sp. and cestodes (Anoplocephalidae) the most common species involved. Some parasitic infections commonly associated with younger animals (e.g. Parascaris spp.) were detected in all age groups. Flow patterns of parasites linking Bogotá D.C. and other municipalities are presented. Finally, these results support the widespread distribution of most of species and the plausible health and welfare impact of this infections in working equids submitted to particular epidemiological risks.