Little work has been conducted on the helminth parasites of artiodactylids in the northern and western parts of the Limpopo province, which is considerably drier than the rest of the province. The aim of this study was to determine the kinds and numbers of helminth that occur in different wildlife hosts in the area as well as whether any zoonotic helminths were present. Ten impalas (Aepyceros melampus), eight kudus (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), four blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), two black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), three gemsbok (Oryx gazella), one nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), one bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), one waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), six warthogs (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) and a single bushpig (Potamochoerus porcus) were sampled from various localities in the semi-arid northern and western areas of the Limpopo province.
New host-parasite associations included Trichostrongylus deflexus from blue wildebeest, Agriostomum gorgonis from black wildebeest, Stilesia globipunctata from the waterbuck and Fasciola hepatica in a kudu. The mean helminth burden, including extra-gastrointestinal helminths, was 592 in impalas, 407 in kudus and blue wildebeest, 588 in black wildebeest, 184 in gemsbok, and 2150 in the waterbuck. Excluding Probstmayria vivipara, the mean helminth burden in warthogs was 2228 and the total nematode burden in the bushpig was 80. The total burdens and species richness of the helminths in this study were consistently low when compared with similar studies on the same species in areas with higher rainfall. This has practical implications when animals are translocated to areas with higher rainfall and higher prevalence of helminths.
I.C.v.W. conducted the study in partial fulfillment of an
MSc degree. J.B. acted as supervisor for the thesis and made
conceptual and editorial contributions.