The preliminary investigation on the prevalence of intestinal helminths in two popularly consumed wild games (bushmeat) Thryonomysswinderianus (grasscutter) and Alcelaphinaespp. (antelope) from Omagwa district in River State, Nigeria was carried out using the concentration technique (formalin ether method) and fecal egg count/larvae count technique. A total of 110 slaughtered animals were used, 45 males (40.9%) and 65 females (59.1%), of this total number of the test samples, 60 (54.5%) were grasscutters consisting of 25 (41.7%) males and 35 (58.3%) females and antelopes were 50 (45.5%) consisting of 20 (40.0%) males and 30 (60.0%) females. In general, out of the total number of grasscutters examined, 15 (37.5%) males and 25 (62.5%) females were infected with the intestinal helminths. Also, from the total number of antelopes examined, 10 (38.5%) males and 16 (61.5%) females were infected. And the result from t-Test showed that there were no significant difference (P > 0.05) from the number of samples examined, as both test samples were infected by different intestinal helminths, irrespective of the highest rate of infection shown by the females at 41 (62.1%) as against males at 25 (37.9%). In addition, this result revealed the presence of seven different species of intestinal helminths (Ascarisspp,Strongyloidesspp, Trichurisspp, Fasciolaspp, Taeniaspp, Moniliformisspp, and Hookworm) of which Ascaris spp., Strongyloides spp., Taenia spp., and Hookworm were present in both and Trichuris spp., withMoniliformis spp. being presentin grasscutters, while Fasciola spp. was only foundin antelope. The females from both test samples has the highest count of ova/worm of the intestinal helminthic as at 162 (antelopes) and 81 (grasscutters) against the males at 79 (antelopes) and 40 (grasscutters). But the result from ANOVA shows that there were no statistical significant difference (P > 0.05) in the prevalence of intestinal helminthic ova’s/worm’s between the male and female of both test sample. It is believed that this study will spark further research into the other types of consumable bushmeats and at the same time draw the attention of necessary bodies into the monitoring of the activities of various eateries and outlets where these meats are served, so as to ensure that good hygiene is maintained.
Keywords: Intestinal Helminths, Grasscutters, and Antelopes (Bushmeat)