Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2010
This paper provides an estimation of the point prevalence of fascioliasis and its economic impact in terms of increased milk yield after chemotherapy of a bovine population from the district of Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 2400 cattle and buffaloes were examined quantitatively using the McMaster egg-counting technique. Infected cattle and buffaloes (50 of each) were randomly selected and each divided into two groups of 25 animals. Groups A (buffaloes) and C (cattle) were treated with oxyclozanide (orally, 16.6 mg kg− 1 body weight). Groups B and D served as negative controls for buffaloes and cattle, respectively. Pre- and post-treatment milk yield was recorded to determine if there were any changes in milk yield after treatment. Of 2400 faecal samples analysed, 654 (27.25%) were positive for Fasciola spp. with a mean number of eggs per gram (EPG) of 503.2. The point prevalence and worm burden of fascioliasis was significantly higher (OR = 2.13; P < 0.05) in buffaloes (34.58%; 415/1200; mean EPG maximum likelihood = 521.4) as compared to that of cattle (19.92%; 239/1200; mean EPG maximum likelihood = 415.8). Among the parasite species, F. gigantica (19.88%; 477/2400) was predominant (OR = 3.12; P < 0.05) as compared to F. hepatica (7.38%; 177/2400). An average daily increase of 0.67 and 0.87 litres of milk, with 0.41% and 0.37% more fat per animal, was observed in oxyclozanide-treated buffaloes and cattle, respectively. The economic value of reduced production of infected animals was estimated as US$0.33 and 0.32 per animal per day for cattle and buffaloes, respectively.