The parasite load of some African game animals



The total parasite load, helminths and arthropods, was measured in wild antelopes (Antilopinae and Alcelaphinae) in Kenya. Two parasite faunas were present, one consisting of endemic species and the other of species introduced into Africa with human livestock, presumably within the last 2000 years. There was little evidence of natural immunity to helminthic infection and gazelle restricted by ranching died of acute helminth infection. The helminth fauna of antelopes was dissimilar from that of zebra and giraffe which graze in the same savannah area, although species of tick were shared. New host records from Kenya are given for Bigalkenema curvispiculum Gibbons, Paracooperia raphicerci Ortlepp, Trichostrongylus axei Cobbold and T. colubriformis Giles from Gazella thomsonii Gilnther, B. curvispiculum from G. granti Brooke, Cooperia fulleborni Hung from Connochaetes taurinus Burchell and Moniezia expansa Rudolphi from Giraffa camelopardalis tippel-skirchi L. The implication of parasitic infection to conservation programmes and the possible future erosion of the conservation areas in East Africa is discussed briefly.