Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations

1.1 Study Background
1.2       Statement of Research Problems
1.3       Justification of the Study
1.4       Aim of the Study
1.5       Objectives of the Study
1.6       Research Questions

2.1       The Guinea Fowl
2.1.1    General Introduction
2.1.2    Origin and Distribution
2.1.3    Advantages of Guinea Fowl over Chickens
2.1.4    Breeds of Guinea Fowls Pearl variety The white-breasted variety The lavender variety The crested and plumed guinea fowl The plumed variety The white variety The vulturine guinea fowl
2.1.5   Production Systems of Guinea Fowls Extensive (free range) system Semi intensive system Intensive system
2.1.6    Sexing of Guinea Fowls
2.1.7    Breeding of Guinea fowls
2.1.8    Egg Production Egg Incubation          Natural incubation          Artificial incubation
2.1.9    Keets Brooding Natural brooding of keets Artificial brooding
2.1.10  Housing and Equipment           Space requirement and stocking density           Feeder and drinker requirement
2.1.11 Health Care and Management of Guinea fowls
2.2.1    Ascaridia galli Description of Ascaridia galli Life cycle of Ascaridia galli Pathogenicity of Ascaridia galli infestation Treatment of Ascaridia galli infestation
2.3       Haematological Parameters of Guineaa fowls
2.3.1    Packed cell volume
2.3.2    Haemoglobin estimation
2.3.3    Total white blood cell count
2.4       Serum Biochemical Parameters
2.4.1    Aspartate aminotransferase
2.4.2    Alanine aminotransferase
2.4.3    Alkaline phosphatase
2.5       Xylopia aethiopica
2.5.1    Chemical composition Xylopia aethiopica
2.5.2    Botanical background of Xylopia aethiopica
2.5.3    Pharmacological properties and chemical composition of Xylopia aethiopica
2.5.4    Medicinal uses of Xylopia aethiopica
2.5.5    Ecology and methods of cultivation of Xylopia aethiopica

3.1       Source of Guinea Fowl Keets and Housing
3.2       Source of Xylopia aethiopica Fruit and Preparation of Extract
3.3       Phytochemical Analyses of Xylopia Aethiopica aqueous Fruit Extract
3.3.1    Test for carbohydrates and sugars
3.3.2    Test for saponins
3.3.3    Test for steroids
3.3.4    Test for terpenoids
3.3.5    Test for cardiac glycosides
3.3.6    Test for alkaloids
3.3.7    Test for tannins
3.3.8    Test for anthraquinones
3.3.9    Test for flavonoids
3.4       Acute Toxicity Study of Xylopia aethiopicaaqueous whole fruit extract
3.5       Source of Infective Eggs of Ascaridia galli
3.6       Experimental infection of Guinea Fowl Keets
3.7       Experimental Design and Treatments
3.8       Faecal Examination
3.9       Determination of Percentage Deparasitization
3.10     Evaluation of Haematological Parameters
3.10.1  Collection of blood
3.10.2  Packed cell volume
3.10.3  Haemoglobin concentration
3.11     Evaluation of Serum Biochemical Parameters
3.11.1  Aspartate aminotransferase
3.11.2  Alanine aminotransferase
3.11.3  Alkaline phosphatase
3.11.4  Serum albumin
3.12     Data Analyses

4.0       RESULTS
4.1       Phytochemical Constituents of Aqueous Xylopia Aethiopicawhole fruits
4.2       Acute Toxicity of Xylopia Aethiopica
4.3       Changes in Faecal Egg Per Gram Count
4.4       Worm Count
4.5       Percentage Deparasitization
4.6       Haematological Parameters
4.7       Serum Biochemical Parameters

5.0       DISCUSSION
5.1       Discussion

6.1       Conclusion
6.2       Recommendations

The major control strategy adopted against helminth parasites in Nigeria is the use of conventional anthelminthics. However, the high cost of modern anthelminthics has limited their use in rural areas, coupled with the emergence of resistant strains of pathogenic helminthes. It was against this background that the desire to search for alternative additional chemotherapeutic agents that this study was initiated; to evaluate the effects of Xylopia aethiopica (Xa) whole fruit extract on anthelminthic efficacy, haematological and biochemical parameters in guinea fowl keets experimentally infected with Ascaridia galli. One hundred guinea fowl keets were randomly assigned to five groups (I, II, III, IV and V) of 20 birds each. Each Keet in groups I, II, III, and IV was inoculated with 700 infective A. galli eggs contained in 0.4 ml normal saline, while keets in group V were uninfected and untreated. Before administration, toxicity study was conducted on the Xa fruit extract. At 3 weeks post-infection and 3 days after first detection of A. galli, keets in groups I and II were treated with 2,000 mg/litre and 4,000 mg/litre of Xa, respectively, while those in group III were treated with 1,000mg/litre of piperazine (as reference standard) for three days. The efficacy of the Xa and piperazine were determined based on percentage deparasitization (postmortem worm count). Blood samples were collected through the wing vein of three keets from each group for haematological and serum biochemical analyses. Packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration (Hb)and erythrocyte count were determined by the microhaematocrit, cyanmethaemoglobin and haemocytometry methods respectively. Serum biochemical assay was carried out for Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Alanine transaminase (ALT), Aspartate transaminase (AST) and total serum albumin (ALB)on samples from all groups. The LD50 of the Xa extract was above 5000 mg/kg. There was significant difference (p<0.05) in the egg per gram count between all groups post treatment. The percentage deparasitization observed in groups I, II and III were 25.5%, 44.4% and 100%, respectively. Increases in PCV and Hb concentration were observed post-treatment with aqueous extract of

Xawhole fruit in A. galli-infected keets in groups I (38.7 ± 1.25 %) and II (38.2 ± 1.03 %) when compared to infected/untreated keets in group IV (34.3 ± 3.42 %). Decreases in serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were also observed post-treatment of keets inA. galli-infected groups I (67.2 ± 7.12 u/l and 3.8 ± 0.37 u/l) and II (74.0 ± 9.13 u/l and 3.6 ± 0.24 u/l) when compared to the values in infected/untreated keets in group IV (81.6 ± 4.76 u/l and 4.4 ± 0.87 u/l), respectively.It was concluded that the XAwhole fruit aqueous extract used in this study has a dose-dependent anthelminthic effect on A. galli in guinea fowls and was able to reduce the severity of the effect of A. galli infection on the haematological and serum biochemical parameters.The use of aqueous extract of Xylopia aethiopica whole fruits as an anthelmintic remedy especially in rural poultry is recommended.

1.0              INTRODUCTION
1.1              Study Background
The guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) is a common indigenous bird of the African continent. In the northern part of Nigeria, these birds are kept in most villages and are abundant in the wild. There are approximately 44 million guinea fowls in captivity in the country, and the products (meat and eggs) from these birds are well accepted socially (Ayeni and Ayanda, 1982). According to Mareko et al (2008), guinea fowls originated in Africa where they still retain many of their original traits.

Parasitic helminths affect animals and man, causing considerable hardship and stunted growth. Most diseases caused by helminths are of a chronic, debilitating nature; they probably cause more morbidity and greater economic and social deprivation among humans(Adang et al., 2010).

The major control strategy adopted against helminth parasites in Nigeria is the use of anthelmintics (Ibrahim et al., 1983). However, the high cost of modern anthelmintics has limited the effective control of these parasites. In some cases, widespread intensive use of sometimes low-quality anthelmintics has led to development of resistance and hence a reduction in the usefulness of available anthelmintics (Waller, 1997a;Monteiro et al., 1998). Although the use of alternate drugs has also been advocated as a measure to avoid the development of resistant strains of helminth parasites, and also as a means of reducing the cost of controlling helminthic diseases (Kelly and Hall, 1979; Okon et al., 1980; Taylor and Hunt, 1989; Coles and Roush, 1992), the emergence of resistant strains of pathogenic helminths has stimulated the desire to.....

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