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Animal Review

June 2017, Volume 4, 2, pp 21-34

Helminths and Protozoa of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Ruminants in Tanzania

Emmanuel S Swai


R Trevor Wilson

Emmanuel S Swai 1
R Trevor Wilson 2

  1. Directorate of Veterinary Services, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania 1

  2. Bartridge Partners, Bartridge House, Umberleigh, UK 2

Pages: 21-34

DOI: 10.18488/

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Article History:

Received: 31 May, 2017
Revised: 12 July, 2017
Accepted: 04 August, 2017
Published: 21 August, 2017


Tanzania has one of the largest populations of domestic ruminants in Africa.  Their performance is less than their potential.  Health, particularly disease due to gastrointestinal parasites, is a major constraint to improved productivity.  Internal parasites also affect the country‚Äôs very diverse and huge array of wild ruminants.  This review is based on a thorough search of the formal and informal literature pertaining to gastrointestinal parasites of ruminants in Tanzania.  The occurrence and geographical distribution of helminth (nematodes, trematodes and cestodes) and protozoan parasites are presented.  Cattle, goat and sheep nematodirus (roundworm) infection usually comprises mixed infections of several taxa of which 13 species in nine genera have been recorded.  A total of seven species of trematodes (flukes) in six genera have been found.  Some six species of cestodes (flatworms) have been recorded, three being in the genus Taenia.  The most prevalent species of protozoan parasites, of which seven have been identified in cattle and 18 in sheep and goats, belong to the genus Eimeria: four other species of protozoan parasites are also recorded.  A general overview of the epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites is provided and the main methods of control are discussed.

Contribution/ Originality
Domestic ruminants are an important part of the Tanzania economy.  They contribute to food security, biodiversity, household income and human welfare.  This paper reviews with the aid of 74 published references the status and distribution of the main internal parasites of domestic ruminants in Tanzania.


Nematodes, Trematodes, Cestodes, Coccidia, Disease resistance.




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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Both authors have undertaken fieldwork in Tanzania, contributed to the literature view and worked together on a first draft of the paper.  The second author was responsible for final editing of this version of the paper for technical content, presentation and language.  Both authors agree to the presentation of the paper.

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