Prevalence of ectoparasites of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) in the town of Dschang, West Region, Cameroon

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D.B. Kenko Nkontcheu *
N. Ngameni Tchamadeu
(*) Corresponding Author:
D.B. Kenko Nkontcheu | danielkenko@gmail.com

Abstract

To estimate the prevalence of ectoparasites of the barn swallow (H. rustica) in Dschang and to see if this bird can be a risk to public health, an investigation was carried out in three sites. An analysis of 51 swallows showed that 35.29% of these birds carry at least one species of ectoparasite. Four species were identified, with the following prevalence: 31.37% (Eomenacanthus stramineus), 5.88% (Goniocotes gallinae), 3.92% (Menacanthus cornutus) and 3.92% (Menopon gallinae). The only significant difference in prevalence between sites was observed with E. stramineus and G. gallinae. Sex did not influence the prevalence of ectoparasites. Swallows of low weight were the most infested. The diversity of nest building material is an indicator of the exploration of several types of media for nest building. Diversity and equitability indexes were 1.05 and 0.53, respectively. A survey carried out using questionnaires showed that swallows are consumed by 30% of the respondents and are used in traditional medicines. These interactions can pose risks to the human population, although we did not find any zoonotic species.

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