Gastrointestinal helminths (GIH) are the commonly diagnosed infections since ponies, donkeys, and horses are hosts to a wide range of helminths. It is the first qualitative and quantitative cross-sectional study conducted from February 2 to May 20, 2018, to estimate the prevalence of the major gastrointestinal nematodes in donkeys and mules in the Anseba region. For this purpose, 300 donkeys and 30 mules were examined. Fresh fecal samples were collected and subjected to standardized parasitological protocols viz; floatation and McMaster techniques to identify the parasites. Results showed that 300 (90.9%) samples from both species were positive for nematodes of different Genera. The gastrointestinal (GIT) nematodes prevalence in donkeys and mules was 96 and 40%, respectively. Strongyles spp., was the most prevalent parasite in the study area, followed by; Parascaris spp., Oxyuris spp., Trichomena spp. and Triodontophores spp. Mixed - infection among the GIT parasite was also seen in the donkey. From the current study, it can be concluded that donkeys seem to be affected more than mules by GIT nematode parasites. Therefore, routine deworming procedures using broad-spectrum anti-nematode drugs should be conducted to control and prevent the diseases, and, where possible, a rotational grazing program should be implemented.
Key word: Gastrointestinal nematodes, donkeys, mules, prevalence, Anseba region, Eritrea.
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