Journal of Parasitic Diseases: Diagnosis and Therapy

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Research Article - Journal of Parasitic Diseases: Diagnosis and Therapy (2016) Volume 1, Issue 1

Prevalence of helminthic and protozoan infections in pigeons- in and around Hyderabad of Telangana state.

Sudhakar Kommu, Rajeshwari G, Sreenivasamurthy GS*

Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500030, Telangana

*Corresponding Author:
Sreenivasamurthy GS
Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Parasitology
College of Veterinary Science, Rajendranagar
Hyderabad-30, Telangana State, India.
Tel: 08143849489
E-mail: [email protected]

Accepted November 02, 2016

Citation: Kommu S, Rajeshwari G, Sreenivasamurthy GS (2016) Prevalence of helminthic and protozoan infections in pigeons- in and around Hyderabad of Telangana state. 1(1): 1-3


The present study was undertaken to observe the overall helminthic and protozoan infection of pigeons in and around Hyderabad city. Out of 370 fecal samples screened 90 samples were found positive for helminthic infection (24.3%), among these cestode infections has highest percent 15.1 (56/370) followed by nematode infection 9.1% (34/370) and protozoan infection is 32.7% (121/370). The percent infection, species wise are Raillietina sp. is 7.0% (26/370), Davainea sp. is 8.1% (30/370) Capillaria sp. is 4.32% (16/370) and Ascardia sp. is 4.86% (18/370). The percent of protozoan i.e., Eimeria infection (unsporulated oocyst) is 32.7% (121/370) and 12.59% of Haemoproteus columbae gamonts infection in stained blood smear (17/135). This concludes that the overall incidence of helminthic infection in pigeons is high because of migratory behavior and it is alarming the epidemiologists that scenario of migratory birds contributing significantly to the spread of parasitic diseases, a better understanding of their role in the disease epidemiology has to be gained by implementing surveillance and tracking strategies.


Helminthic and protozoan infections, Gastro-intestinal parasites, Microbes, Columbiformes.


Pigeons of the order Columbiformes are ubiquitous species of birds and can be found in virtually every town and city around the world [1]. Like other microbes and it also harbors various parasitic diseases, among these, gastrointestinal helminths are the most deleterious parasites responsible for occurrence of clinical and subclinical parasitic conditions [2]. Similar to helminthes, coccidiosis is one of the important protozoan diseases of bird’s exhibit fluffy feathers, anorexia and watery diarrhea with mucus and results in mortality and morbidity [3-5]. Similar to plasmodium species, Haemoproteus columbae produces peak parasitemia in peripheral blood responsible for death of the birds [6,7]. The present study was performed to determine the prevalence of parasites in the faecal and blood samples of the pigeons in and around Hyderabad which will ultimately assist the veterinarians regarding epidemiological forecasting to take appropriate measures against to parasitic diseases.

Materials and Methods

Study area

The study was conducted for a period of six months starting from December 2013 to May 2014 in and around Hyderabad.

Sample collection and examination

During this investigation, a total of 370 fresh faecal samples were collected and preserved individually in 10% formalin. Later, all the samples were brought to the Parasitology laboratory at College of Veterinary Science, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad for further examinations by using three different types of qualitative tests (direct smear, flotation and sedimentation techniques) were used to examine the faecal samples to identify the morphological features of eggs, cysts, oocysts [8,9]. Around 135 blood samples were collected directly from the wing vein and blood smears were prepared and stained with Leishman’s stain (Tables 1 and 2).

  Number of faecal samples examined Number of positive samples Prevalence (%)
Raillietina sp. 370 26 7.0
Davainea sp. 370 30 8.10
Eimeria oocyst 370 121 32.7
Capillaria sp. 370 16 4.32
Ascaridia sp. 370 18 4.86
Balantidium coli cyst 370 21 5.70

Table 1. Prevalence of Gastro-intestinal helminth and protozoan parasites in pigeons

Protozoan parasite Number of blood samples examined Number of positive samples Prevalence (%)
Haemoproteus columbae 135 17 12.59

Table 2. Prevalence of protozoan parasite in pigeons


Six different types of gastro-intestinal parasites were detected in faecal samples viz Eimeria sp. (32.7%), Davainea sp. (8.10%), Raillietina sp. (7.0%) were commonly found Balantidium coli cysts constitute 5.7%, Ascaridia ova (4.86%) and Capillaria ova (4.32%) were moderately found in the sediment fecal samples.

A total of 135 blood smears were examined for haematozoan parasites out of which 12.5% were positive for Haemoproteus columbae gamonts (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Prevalence of Gastro intestinal parasitic infections in pigeons


Prevalence of gastro-intestinal parasites

The present study depicting 38.4% prevalence for protozoa with the detection of Eimeria species oocyst (32.7%) [1] and prevalence of Balantidium coli cyst was 15.14%. In the present study Davinea sp. showed highest rate (8.1%) which is in contrast with findings of [10-12]. Where they recorded 44%, 80%, 63% prevalence of Raillietina species. In this study the prevalence of Raillietina species was 7%. Among nematodes, occurrence of Ascaridia species and Capillaria species were much lower than the observation made by the Rabbi et al. [13].

Prevalence of haemoprotozoan disease

During the present study, blood parasites were quite abundant but their distribution and prevalence markedly varies from region to region and from one avian family to other Indian subcontinent. The relative frequency of Haemoproteus columbae found in this study in agreement with the Levine and Kantor; Desser and Bennett, found a range of 28-100% occurrence of Haemoproteus in domestic pigeons. Haemoproteus infection rate may be as high as 75% ranging from 6-86%. Because migratory nature of birds is indicative of local transmission and presumably gametocytomia with Haemoproteus species which is controlled by the physiology of the host species and infection [6,7, 14-19].


The study was performed to determine the prevalence of gastro-intestinal and haemoprotozoan infections in pigeons in and around Hyderabad. To explore overall idea about the distribution of the disease and also provides epidemiological status in the occurrence of parasitic diseases.


We acknowledged to Head Department of Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Rajendranagar, and Hyderabad for his kind support to conduct this research.