Between-breed variations in resistance/resilience to gastrointestinal nematodes among indigenous goat breeds in Uganda

R.B. Onzima*, Robert Mukiibi, A. Ampaire, K. von Benda-Beckmann, E. Kanis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs), Haemonchus contortus, are a major health problem in goat production. Resistance to H. contortus, the most prevalent GIN in Uganda, was studied among three indigenous goat breeds to assess their differences. Twelve male goats of each breed approximately 7 months old of small East African (SEA), Mubende, and Kigezi goats from smallholder farmers in Arua, Mubende, and Kabale were assembled for the study. At the station, they were dewormed with a combination therapy of the broad-spectrum dewormers closantel and albendazole to free the goats of gastrointestinal parasites. During experimentation, the goats were kept indoors and ad libitum fed on clean banana peels and napier grass. On attainment of zero-worm-egg status, the goats were artificially infected with 18,000 third-stage (L3) larvae of H. contortus prepared according to Baermann’s procedure. Data were collected on fecal egg count (FEC), packed cell volume (PCV), and body weight (BW) on a 2-week basis until 12 weeks post infection and carcass weight and total worm count (WC) in the abomasum at termination of the experiment. The data on FEC, PCV, and BW were subjected to repeated-measure analysis of variance and the others by one-way analysis of variance. FEC between breeds was only significantly different at 12 weeks post infection (p = 0.04). Generally, higher FEC was recorded in Kigezi compared to SEA and Mubende goats. Carcass weight was significantly different among breeds (p < 0.05), with Mubende having the highest carcass weight, followed by Kigezi and SEA. PCV and daily weight gains were significantly different between breeds (p < 0.05). WC was not significantly different between the breeds. FEC and PCV were weakly significant at later stages of the experiment with higher parasite burden suggesting potential variation in resistance to H. contortus. These differences could be exploited in designing breeding programs with disease resistance in indigenous goat breeds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1763-1769
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number8
Early online date13 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Breeding programs
  • Haemonchus contortus
  • Kigezi
  • Mubende
  • Small East African


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