Prevalence of Eimeria species of the domestic goats Capra hircus Linnaeus, 1758 in Al-Baha area, Saudi Arabia

Document Type : Original Article


1-Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt 2- Science Department, Faculty of Education, Al-Baha University, Al-Baha, Saudi Arabia


This work aimed to identifyEimeria speciesof goats and to investigatethe factors that might potentially influence their prevalence and parasite load. This study was conducted in Al-Baha area, south-west Saudi Arabia from September 2011 to June 2012. Out of 336 faecal samples examined, 180 (53.57%) were positive for Eimeria oocysts. The prevalence of Eimeria ranged from 39.64% to 61.40% in different localities. Nine different Eimeria species were identified from faecal samples of goats. Eimeria species were: Eimeria arloingi (35.71%), E. alijevi (26.19%), E. hirci (25.29%), E. ninakohlyakimovae (16.36%), E. christenseni (14.59%), E. caprina (11.31%), E. jolchijevi (9.52%), E. caprovina (5.59%) and E. apsheronica(3.27%).  E. arloingi (35.71%), E. alijevi (26.19%) and E. hirci (25.29%) were the most prevalent species and E. apsheronica (3.27%) was the least prevalent one. The main factors affecting prevalence and parasite load of Eimeria species were host age, locality and season. Significant negative correlations were found between host age and both prevalence and OPG number. Multiple-species infections were detected in 89.44% of positive goats which carried two to five species. In conclusion, the prevalence of coccidiosis is relatively low compared to other studies. Moreover, no signs of clinical coccidiosis were found in this study. We need further research to study the interaction between multiple-species infections in coccidiosis and parasite load in natural host-parasite systems.