Prevalence and Risk Factors for Eimeria spp. Infections in Small Scale Dairy Farms in Hawassa and Arsi Negele Towns, Southern Ethiopia


  • Rahmeto Abebe Hawassa University, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, P.O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia
  • Million Tadesse Amhara Regional State Animal and Fisheries Resources Development Bureau


Cattle, Coccidiosis, Faecal oocyst


The prevalence and intensity of Eimeria spp. infection was investigated and the potential risk factors identified in small scale dairy farms located at Hawassa and Arsi Negele towns. Faecal samples from a total of 768 cattle were examined by McMaster technique. Eimeria oocysts were detected in 38.2% of the animals and no significant difference was observed between the two towns (P > 0.05). The faecal oocyst counts were highly variable ranging from 50–100,000 oocysts per gram of faeces (OPG) with overall mean OPG of 1891. Unweaned calves had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) prevalence and relatively higher mean OPG than either weaned calves or yearlings. Majority (90%) of the study animals were sub clinically infected showing oocyst counts of <5000 OPG. The prevalence of Eimeria oocysts was associated with the water source for the animals, housing system and hygienic condition of the farms (P < 0.05). Those animals of <6 months, drinking water from river, housed in group pens and kept in poor hygienic conditions were at higher risk of contracting Eimeria spp. infection compared to their counterparts. Eimeria infection was independent of breed and sex of the animals (P > 0.05). The study revealed that age of the animal, river water, group housing and poor hygiene were the major risk factors for the occurrence of Eimeria infections in cattle in the study area. Furthermore, the prevalence of Eimeria spp. infection and mean OPG was considerably higher in diarrheic than non-diarrheic animals. Thus, all diarrhoeic cases should be treated with effective anticoccidial drugs. Regular use of suitable coccidiostats and improvement of management practices that contribute to infection are also recommended. Since all Eimeria spp. are not pathogenic, further study is needed to identify the major species of Eimeria circulating in the dairy cattle.



How to Cite

Abebe, R. ., & Tadesse, M. . (2021). Prevalence and Risk Factors for Eimeria spp. Infections in Small Scale Dairy Farms in Hawassa and Arsi Negele Towns, Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Science and Development, 3(1), 1-6. Retrieved from

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