Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 650890, 5 pages
Research Article

Relationship between the Prevalence of Ectoparasites and Associated Risk Factors in Free-Range Pigs in Kenya

1Department of Animal Health and Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 62000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
2Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 29053, Nairobi, Kenya
3International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Old Naivasha Road, P.O. Box 30709-00100, Kabete, Nairobi, Kenya

Received 16 May 2013; Accepted 17 June 2013

Academic Editors: Y.-F. Chang and U. Weiler

Copyright © 2013 John Maina Kagira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of ectoparasites and possible risk factors in free-range pigs from 135 farms of Busia District, Kenya. Three hundred and six pigs were examined for presence of external parasites using standard parasitological methods. Data on management practices including housing and history of acaricide spraying were also collected. The ectoparasites found in the pigs were Haematopinus suis (96.1%), Sarcoptes scabiei (63.7%), and ticks (29.7%). The tick species included Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (70%), Boophilus decoloratus (31%), and Amblyomma variegatum (12%). The occurrence of the infestations was associated with age, being highest in sows (S. scabiei) and finishers (ticks and H. suis). Male pigs had highest prevalences of H. suis and ticks, while female pigs had highest prevalence of S. scabiei. The prevalence of the parasitic infestations was significantly ( ) associated with their origin being either lower (H. suis and S. scabiei) or higher (ticks) in pigs originating from divisions with high rainfall. Housed pigs had significantly ( ) lower prevalence of H. suis and ticks than those from households without pig housing. It is concluded that the free-range pigs have high prevalence of ectoparasites, and effective control strategies focussing on improved animal husbandry and acaricide use should be implemented.