Identification of ectoparasites in indigenous poultry in southern areas of West Azerbaijan, Iran: A study on the prevalence and importance of these parasites

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz,Iran

2 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Poultry products are considered as one of the most important sources of food for humans, worldwide. Indigenous poultry production has grown in popularity among villagers and some urbanites due to simple maintenance conditions, adequate adaption of poultry to different climatic conditions, and acceptable product yield. Parasites are among the main pathogenic agents, threatening the health of poultry and poultry products. The present study was carried out in northwest of Iran between March 2013 and December 2015 to determine the prevalence of ectoparasite species, infesting local chickens. Different parts of the bird''s body were inspected for ectoparasites. The parasites were collected from the birds by displaying the feathers horizontally against the anatomical orientation for the purpose of exposure. Then, the separated parasites were identified according to the diagnostic guidelines. Based on the findings, of 160 chickens examined, 110 (68.7%) samples had one or more types of ectoparasites. The prevalence of infestation was higher in females (74.5%) than males (56%), although the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Menopon gallinae was the most frequent species (65.4%), followed by Menacanthus stramineus (37.2%), Lipeurus caponis (10.9%), and Dermanyssus gallinae (9.1%). The present study indicated that ectoparasitic infestation was highly prevalent among chickens in the studied areas. However, further detailed studies are recommended with a focus on ectoparasites infestations and their impacts.


Main Subjects

Article Title [French]

Identification d’ectoparasites chez les volailles indigènes des régions du sud de l’ouest-Azerbaïdjan iranien : une étude sur la prévalence et l’importance de ces parasites

Abstract [French]

Les produits à base de volailles sont considérés comme l’une des sources alimentaires les plus importantes pour l’homme à travers le monde. La production de volailles indigènes gagne en popularité chez les populations rurales et urbaines en raison de la simplicité de leur maintenance, d’une adaptation adéquate aux différentes conditions climatiques et d’un rendement en produits acceptable. Les parasites figurent parmi les principaux agents pathogènes affectant la santé des volailles et la qualité de leurs produits dérivés. Cette étude a été menée dans le nord-ouest de l’Iran entre mars 2013 et décembre 2015 afin de déterminer la prévalence des différentes espèces d’ectoparasites qui infestent les poulets locaux. L’inspection d’ectoparasites a été effectuée sur différentes parties du corps des volailles. Les parasites ont été collectés en disposant le plumage des volatiles horizontalement, dans le sens contraire de son orientation anatomique. Les parasites prélevés ont été ensuite identifiés selon les lignes directrices relatives au diagnostic publiées par Soulsbyet Wall. D’après nos résultats, parmi les 160 poulets examinés, 110 (68,7%) étaient contaminés par un ou plusieurs types d’ectoparasites. La prévalence des infections s’est avérée être plus importante chez les femelles (74,5%) que chez les mâles (56%), cependant sans différence statistiquement significative(P>0.05). Menopongallinaeétait l’espèce la plus Fréquente (65.4%),suivie par Menacanthusstramineus (37,2%), Lipeuruscaponis (10,9%) et Dermanyssusgallinae (9,1%). Ce travaille montre qu’il existe une forte prévalence des infections ectoparasitaires chez les poulets de la région étudiée. Cependant, la tenue d’autres études plus approfondies sur les ectoparasites et leurs impactsest recommandée.

Keywords [French]

  • Ectoparasite
  • Poulets locaux
  • Iran
Bhat, S.A., Wani, M.Y., Khojuria, J.K., Katoch, R., Dhama, K., 2014. A Rare Report of Ectoparasites in Backyard Poultry in Jammu Region: Prevalence Study and Economic Importance. Asian J Anim Vet Adv 9, 727-731.
Biu, A.A., Agbede, R.I., Peace, P., 2007. Studies on ectoparasites of poultry in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Nigerian J Parasitol 28, 69-72.
Buriro, S.N., Akbar, S.S., 1978. Incidence and occurrence of ectoparasites of poultry in Pakistan. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie 86, 1-8.
Chirico, J., Eriksson, H., Fossum, O., Jansson, D., 2003. The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, a potential vector of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causing erysipelas in hens. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 17, 232-234.
Colebrook, E., Wall, R., 2004. Ectoparasites of livestock in Europe and the Mediterranean region. Veterinary Parasitology 120, 251-274.
Ebrahimi, M., Ahmadi, A., Mohammadpour, H., 2013. Survey on infestation to ectoparasites in native poultry of Najaf-Abad. J Food Microbiol 4, 17-20.
Eslami, A., Ghaemi, P., Rahbari, S., 2009. Parasitic Infections of Free –Chickens from Golestan Province Iran. Iran J Parasitol 4, 10-14.
Hashemzade-farhang, H., Namdarian, M.R., Shirazi, S., Shahbazi, P., 2008. Survey of ectoparasites in native poultry of Tabriz city, Iran. Iran Vet J 4, 97-100.
Kansal, G., Singh, H.S., 2014. Incidence of Ectoparasites in Broiler Chicken in Meerut. IOSR J Agri Vet Sci 7, Singh, H. S. (). .  7: .
Mungube, E.O., Bauni, S.M., Tenhagen, B.-A., Wamae, L.W., Nzioka, S.M., Muhammed, L., Nginyi, J.M., 2008. Prevalence of parasites of the local scavenging chickens in a selected semi-arid zone of Eastern Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production 40, 101-109.
Nnadi, P.A., George, S.O., 2010. A Cross-Sectional Survey on Parasites of Chickens in Selected Villages in the Subhumid Zones of South-Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Parasitology Research 2010.
Permin, A., Esmann, J.B., Hoj, C.H., Hove, T., Mukaratirwa, S., 2002. Ecto-, endo- and haemoparasites in free-range chickens in the Goromonzi District in Zimbabwe. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 54, 213-224.
Phiri, I.K., Phiri, A.M., Ziela, M., Chota, A., Masuku, M., Monrad, J., 2007. Prevalence and distribution of gastrointestinal helminths and their effects on weight gain in free-range chickens in Central Zambia. Tropical Animal Health and Production 39, 309-315.
Radfar, M.H., Khedri, J., Adinehbeigi, K., Nabavi, R., Rahmani, K., 2012. Prevalence of parasites and associated risk factors in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and free-range backyard chickens of Sistan region, east of Iran. Journal of Parasitic Diseases 36, 220-225.
Ruff, M.D., 1999. Important parasites in poultry production systems. Veterinary Parasitology 84, 337-347.
Sparagano, O.A.E., George, D.R., Harrington, D.W.J., Giangaspero, A., 2014. Significance and Control of the Poultry Red Mite, Dermanyssus gallinae. Annual Review of Entomology 59, 447-466.
Sychra, O., Harmat, P., Literák, I., 2008. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) on chickens (Gallus gallus) from small backyard flocks in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Veterinary Parasitology 152, 344-348.
Tamiru, F., Dagmawit, A., Askale, G., Solomon, S., Morka, D., Waktole, T., 2014. Prevalence of Ectoparasite Infestation in Chicken in and Around Ambo Town, Ethiopia. Vet Sci Technol.
Tolossa, Y., Shafi, Z., Basu, A., 2009. Ectoparasites and gastrointestinal helminths of chickens of three agro-climatic zones in Oromia Region, Ethiopia. Animal Biology 59, 289-297.
Van De Weerd, H.A., Keatinge, R., Roderick, S., 2009. A review of key health-related welfare issues in organic poultry production. World''s Poultry Science Journal 65, 649-684.
Wall, R., Shearer, D., 2012. Veterinary Entomology: Arthropod Ectoparasites of Veterinary Importance, Springer Netherlands