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ISSN: 2157-7579
Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology

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Study on Prevalence of Ruminant Fasciolosis and its Associated Risk Factors in Kombolcha, North East Ethiopia

Shimels Tikuye*

EIAR, National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Holleta, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author:
Shimels Tikuye
EIAR, National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
Holleta, PO Box: 249, Ethiopia
Tel: +251913796389
Fax: 0112610086
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: July 02, 2017; Accepted Date: July 18, 2017; Published Date: July 19, 2017

Citation: Tikuye S (2017) Study on Prevalence of Ruminant Fasciolosis and its Associated Risk Factors in Kombolcha, North East Ethiopia. J Vet Sci Technol 8:461. doi: 10.4262/2157-7579.1000461

Copyright: © 2017 Tikuye S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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A cross sectional study was conducted to determine prevalence and risk factors associated with ruminant fasciolosis in Kombolcha, Amhara regional state from October 2010 to March 2011. For the purpose of the study fecal samples were taken from a total of 420 ruminants (168 cattle, 149 sheep and 103 goats) and subjected to coprological examination, specifically sedimentation technique. Based on the coproscopic examination the prevalence of fasciolosis was found to be 9.52% (n=16) in cattle, 37.58% (n=56) in sheep and 6.8% (n=7) in goats. Among the ruminants the prevalence of fasciolosis showed statistically significant variations (χ2=53.6095, P=0.000), being very high in sheep and low in goats and poor body condition 45 (60%). This study revealed the presence of statistical significant differences (χ2=103.08, P=0.000) between the three body conditions, the prevalence recorded in poor condition animals was very high. On the contrary there was no significance difference (P>0.05) in sex and age groups. In conclusion fasciolosis was found to be important ruminant disease in the study area, thus to control the disease and reduce the economic loss in this area, appropriate control strategies should be given.


Coprology; Fasciolosis; Kombolcha; Prevalence; Ruminant; Sedimentation


%: Percent; °C: Degree Celsius, F. gigantica: Fasciola gigantica; F. hepatica: Fasciola hepatica; L. natalansis: Lymnaea natalansis; L. truncatula: Lymnaea truncatula; masl: meters above sea level; mm: millimetre; SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Science; USD: United States Dollar; EIAR: Ethiopian Institute Agriculture Research; Km: Killo meter; χ2: Pearson chi square.


Fasciolosis is among the important parasitic worm infection which limits productivity of animals due to mortality, reduced growth rate, reduction in weight gain and unthriffines, reduction in working power, condemnation of large number of infected liver, increased susceptibility to secondary infection and expense due to control measure. The parasite is caused by the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. The disease is a plant-borne trematode zoonosis [1] and is categorized under a neglected tropical disease [2].

The genus Lymnea in general, species of L. truncatula and L. natalensis are the most common intermediate hosts for F. hepatica and F. gigantic respectively. These species of snail was reported to have a worldwide distribution [3]. F. gigantica is found in most continents, primarily in tropical regions [4].

The parasite is the most prevalent helminthes infection of ruminants found in most parts of the world including Ethiopia. F. hepatica is found in areas with altitude of 1200 to 2560 masl while, F. gigantica is found at altitudes bellow 1800 masl but both species co-exist in areas where altitude ranging between 1200 to 1800 masl [5].

According to Yilma J, Malones JB the economic losses of fasciolosis are mostly caused by mortality, morbidity, reduced growth rate, condemnation of liver, increased susceptibility to secondary infection and the expense of control measures [5]. According to Fufa and Rokni the average loss of Fasciola was 6300 USD and 4000 USD per annum in Jimma and wolayta soddo municipal abattoir respectively [6,7].

Coprological examination from faces by using standard sedimentation technique is used for the diagnosis of fasciolosis for detection of Fasciola eggs [8]. In the study area, ruminants are important asset to farmers but the data regarding to Ruminant fascioliosis are not well documented. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and to asses with the risk factors of ruminant fasciolosis in Kombolcha.

Materials and Methods

Study area

Kombolcha is a town in North- Eastern Ethiopia located in the south Wollo zone of the Amhara regional state, located 375 km North East of Addis Ababa, between 11° 084’ 49” latitude and 0.39° 737’ 46” longitude of with an elevation between 1500-1840 meter above sea level. Kombolcha experiences bimodal rainfall which is the short rainy season occurs usually from March to May and the long rainy season extends from June to September. The minimum and maximum mean annual rainfall ranges from 750 to 900 mm, the annual temperature ranges from 11.8°C to 26°C and the relative humidity varies from 23.9% to 79%.

Study animals

A total of 420 indigenous breeds of ruminants (cattle, sheep and goat) managed extensively were randomly selected and subjected to qualitative coproscopic examination by standard sedimentation technique to determine the prevalence rate of Fasciola in the study area. The selected animals were from different species, age, sex and body condition groups.

Study methodology

Coproscopy was used to determine positivity of the animals for fasciola. Fecal samples for parasitological examination were collected directly from the rectum of each species, using disposable plastic gloves and placed in clean screw capped universal bottle and each sample was clearly labeled with animal identification, species, sex, age and body condition score. Fecal samples were preserved with 10% formalin solution to avoid the eggs developing and hatching. In the laboratory, coproscopic examinations were performed to detect the presence of Fasciola eggs using the standard sedimentation techniques. A drop of methylene blue solution was added to the sediment to differentiate it from eggs of paramphistomum. Eggs of Fasciola species show yellowish color while eggs of paramphistomum species stain by methylene blue [9].

Sample size

For estimation of Fasciola prevalence, the sample size was determined by assuming the expected prevalence to be 50%, the statistical Confidence Interval level was 95% while the desired precision was 5% and a sample size of 384 ruminants (cattle, sheep and goat) was determined based on the formula given by Thrusfield [10]. However, a total of 420 ruminants were taken to increase the precision of the study.


where, n=sample size,

Pexp=expected prevalence,

d2Data analysis=desired precision,

Z=constant from normal distribution table at a given confidence level.

Data analysis

All raw data generated from the study were coded and entered in MS Excel database system. Using SPSS version 16 computer program, data were analyzed by using Chi-square (χ 2) test to determine the variation in infection, prevalence between species, sex, age and body condition score. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05 to determine whether there are significant differences between the parameters measured between the groups.


Coproscopic examination was conducted from October 2010 to March 2011 showed that from a total of 420 indigenous ruminants managed extensively examined for the presence of Fasciola by using sedimentation technique, 79 ruminants revealed Fasciola egg in their faces with an over all prevalence of 18.81%.

The prevalence rate was higher in ovine (37.58%) and lower in bovine (9.52%) and caprine (6.80%) species respectively. Infection rate was statistically significant (P<0.05) (Table 1).

Risk factors No. examined No. positive Prevalence (%) χ2 p-value CI
Bovine 168 16 9.52 53.6095 0.000 95%
Ovine 149 56 37.58    
Caprine 103 7 6.80    
Total 420 79 18.81    
Male 179 41 22.91 3.4262 0.064
Female 241 38 15.77    
Total 420 79 18.81    
<1year 123 19 15.45 1.2958 0.523
1<x<3 years 147 30 20.41    
>3 years 150 30 20.00    
Total 420 79 18.81    
Body condition
Poor 75 45 60 103.0842 0.000
Medium 176 22 12.50    
Good 169 12 7.10    
Total 420 79 18.81    

Table 1: Prevalence of Ruminant fasciolosis and its association with various risk factors in Kombolcha.

Prevalence of fasciolosis in male and female animals was 22.91% and 15.77% respectively. However, no significant difference (P>0.05) was observed between sexes (Table 1).

The highest prevalence was recorded in ruminants aged 1<x<3 years (20.41%) and >3 years (20.00%). Meanwhile, low prevalence was observed in less than 1 year with value (15.45%). But this difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05) (Table 1). Where X- represent age in terms of years

The prevalence of ruminant fasciolosis in animals with a poor body condition (60%) was higher than animals with medium (12.5%) and good body condition (7.10%) respectively. Significant difference (P<0.05) in prevalence was observed among body condition of the study animals (Table 1).


Fasciolosis in ruminants was found with prevalence rates of 9.52% (n=16) bovine, 37.58% (n=56) ovine and 6.79% (n=7) of caprine and with over all prevalence rate of 18.81% of ruminants from coproscopic result. It showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between bovine, ovine and caprine. This difference may be due to species sensitivity to Fasciola, thus animals, like cattle’s have a moderate to high degree of resistance to primary infection. But sheep and goats do not develop a protective immunity to re-infection while cattle’s develop immunity to defend infections and develop protection against re-infection with Fasciola [11]. Caprines have lowered prevalence of fasciolosis when compared with bovine and ovine. This may be due to the fact that goats are browsers. These differences could be due to difference in management system, grazing habit and resistance to parasitic infection. Similar result support the present finding is reported by Henok [12] in and around Hirna town.

The prevalence rate of bovine fasciolosis was 9.52% (n=16) in the study area. This was lowered when compared with 41.41% in and around Woreta [13], 34.04% in Turkey but the present study was higher than 4.9% in Soddo [7,14]. This variation may be due to the agro-ecological and climatic differences between the localities, although differences in the management systems and sample size.

The prevalence of ovine fasciolosis was found to be 37.5% (n=56) in the study area. This finding was lower when compared with previous reports in different parts of the country by Molalegne [15] 49% in and around Dawa-Cheffe, [16] 56.3% in Upper Awash River Basin, but higher than that of Ahmed [17] 13.2% in Middle Awash River Basin. These variations may be due to differences in temperature, moisture, humidity and soil for multiplication of intermediate host.

The prevalence of caprine fasciolosis was found to be 6.8%. This result is lower when compared with Adediran [18] 9.1% in Ibadan, Nigeria. This may be due to difference in climatic conditions, geographical regions and sample size of the study.

The prevalence of Fasciola in male and female ruminants was recorded as 22.91% and 15.77% respectively. There was non-significant difference (P>0.05) between the two sexes indicating that sex have no effect on disease prevalence. This may be probably due to that grazing habit of both sex groups in similar pasture land. Similar findings that strengthen the present result are reported by Mulualem and Ashenafi [19,20]. But, Balock indicated that high prevalence rate in the male than female [21]. This may be due to the management system with more time exposure of male to the field while females are kept in door system during pregnancy and lactation period.

The prevalence of ruminant fasciolosis among >3 years (20%) and 1<x<3 years (20.41%) was higher than that of <1 year (15.45%), but this difference was not statistically significant. The higher infection rate in 1<x<3 years and >3 years animals could be due to long time exposure to disease entity and their grazing habit close to submerge areas [22].

Prevalence of ruminant fasciolosis was also carried out based on the basis of body condition. Poor body condition animals were significantly higher (P<0.05) than that of medium and good body condition animals respectively. This indicates that the importance of fasciolosis in causing loss of appetite and poor utilization of food, which results in a loss of body weight. This finding agrees with [17] in Middle Awash River Basine, [23] in Adigrat and [24] in Yilmana Densa district.


Fasciolosis is one of the major helminth infections for ruminant production in the study area. This prevalence found in the study area could be also due to the water lodgment from Borkena River which increased irrigated land masses and ponds at grazing areas of animals and the trend of livestock owners to graze their animals in these areas at the time of feed scarcity. The Observed differences in the prevalence of parasitic infections between species were probably due to differences in grazing habit and host susceptibility to infection. Therefore, Strategic anthelmentic treatment with appropriate fluckcidal drugs, a combination of control measures including drainage, fencing and mulluscicides and awareness creation should be implemented to control the helminthes infection.


I would like to express my heartly thanks to Dr. Mullugeta Tefera for his technical advice, over all guidance and valuable comments on my draft documents to appear in the present form. My special thanks go to my families with their advice, moral and financial support during the study period. Lastly but not least I would like to express my thanks to Kombolcha Regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for their logistic support.


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