SURVEY OF HELMINTH PARASITES OF FISH IN EBONYI RIVER AT EHA- AMUFU, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
Gastrointestinal helminth parasites fauna of fish from Ebonyi River was investigated from
February to July 2016. Fish caught from the river were sacrificed and gastrointestinal
parasites isolated. A total of 121 fish comprising (and number examined, n) Distichodus
engycephalus (n = 28), Labeo senegalensis (n = 34), Auchenoglaris occidentalis (n = 14)
and Synodontis clarias (n = 45) were examined out of which 78(65.0%) were infected. S.
clarias had the highest prevalence of infection 37(82.2 %), followed by L. senegalensis
21(61.8 %) and D. engycephalus 14(50.0 %). The lowest prevalence of infection was
observed in A. occidentalis 6(42.9 %). Prevalence of infection was significantly different
between the fish species (χ 2 = 11.713, p = 0.008). The parasites isolated were of three
species, Camallanus sp., Neoechinorhynchus africanus and Acanthocephalus sp. Overall,
prevalence of the three parasites were in the range 30 – 35 %. Overall, Camallanus sp.
had the highest mean intensity [4.41 (3.95 – 4.89, 95% CI)]. Mean intensities of N.
africanus and Acanthocephalus sp., were only slightly lower: [3.17 (2.81 – 3.48, 95%
CI)] and [3.21 (2.79 – 3.66, 95% CI)] respectively. Infection was not significantly
dependent on sex of fish or season of sampling (p>0.05). Helminth parasite infection
prevalence is high in some fish species of Ebonyi River, Enugu State, Nigeria. This high
prevalence of helminths infection may compromise productivity of the fish species