• Roshan Babu Adhikari Nepali Army College of Health Sciences (NACHS), Kathmandu, Nepal. Institute of Medical Science, Alka Hospital Pvt. Ltd., Dhobighat, Lalitpur, Nepal. Third Pole Conservancy (TPC), Bhaktapur Nepal. Author
  • Madhuri Adhikari Dhakal Department of Microbiology and Research and Development, New Edge Microbials, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia Author
  • Tirth Raj Ghimire Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal Author



Cryptosporidium, Strongyle, Zoonosis


The presence of intestinal parasites influences equines' well-being and working performance. However, the scenario of parasitism in working horses in the lowlands of Nepal is yet to be explored. The present study aimed to reveal the prevalence and diversity of intestinal parasites (protozoa and helminths) and to list the zoonotic species in working horses in the lowlands of Nepal. Fresh fecal samples (N=102) from horses were collected at two locations (Chitwan and Birgunj) in the lowlands of Terai and were transferred to the research laboratory. Coproscopy was carried out via direct wet mount, formalin ethyl acetate (FEA) sedimentation, saturated salt flotation, and acid-fast staining techniques. Coproscopy revealed an overall prevalence rate of 90.2% (92/102) with 15 known diverse species of parasites (Protozoa: 5 and Helminths: 10) and an unknown coccidian, out of which eight possess zoonotic potential. The prevalence and diversity of intestinal parasites were higher in adult than in young animals (90.7%; 15 spp. vs. 88.9%; 11 spp.) The overall prevalence of helminths was double that of protozoa (89.2% vs. 43.1%). Furthermore, polyparasitism was much more prevalent than monoparasitism (85.3% vs 4.9%). Co-infection with two parasite species (37%) was higher in young horses. In comparison, triplet infection (34%) was higher in adults, and a maximum concurrency of up to six species of parasites at a time was recorded. Following it, the differences in the prevalence rate of parasites based on the predictor of risks, like sex, grazing, domestication type, nature of the floor, and medication practices, were statistically significant. Working horses in the lowlands of Terai harbored a significant variety of intestinal parasites with important prevalence. Since eight of the reported parasitic species were zoonotic, infected horses pose a zoonotic risk to the owners. Therefore, timely deworming, pasture management, and reduction in working pressure are highly recommended.


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How to Cite

Adhikari, R.; Adhikari Dhakal, M.; Ghimire, T. INTESTINAL PARASITISM IN WORKING HORSES AND ASSOCIATED ZOONOTIC RISKS IN LOWLANDS OF NEPAL. Probl Infect Parasit Dis 2024, 52 (1), 34-46.