Study of ecto and haemo parasites in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) in Sulaimani province, Kurdistan region/Iraq

Shadan Hassan Abdullah1, Aram Ahmad Mohammed1, Nahla Mohammed Saeid1

1 College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Original: 12 December 2017, Revised: 13 February 2018, Accepted: 13 March 2018, Published online: 20 March 2018



Pigeons are very well adapted and proliferate without control in urban centers. In this current study, ectoparasites and haemoparasites of 140 adult domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) of both sexes were studied, from different localities in Sulaimani province during April to October 2014, since there is no enough data regarding the frequency and identification of ectoparasites and haemoparasites in domestic pigeons in Sulaimani province. All pigeons were examined for the presence of ectoparasites and haemoparasites through checking of blood samples using Giemsa stain. As a result, various species of ectoparasites and haemoparasites were observed. From which, 4 species of lice were detected named Columbicola olumbae (62.5%) followed by Hoborstiella lata (10.42%), Campanulotes compar (4.17%) and Menacanthus stramineus (3.13%). On the other hands, 19.79% of infected pigeons with ectoparasites were diagnosed with the presence of more than 1 lice species. Additionally, examined Giemsa stained smears showed that 55.72% of studied pigeons were harbor haemoparasites including Haemoproteus species (28.20%) followed by Plasmodium species (26.92%) and then Leucocytozoon species (11.53%) consequently

KeywordsEctoparasite. Haemoparasite. Pigeon. Sulaimani.


[1] Bahrami, A.M.; Hosseini, E.; Razmjo, M. "Important Parasite in Pigeon, its Hematological Parameter

and Pathology of Intestine". World Appl. Sci. J., Vol. 21, No. 9, pp. 1361-1365. (2013).

[2] Samani, A.D.; Kheirabadi, K.P.; Samani, A.D. "Prevalence and Rate of Parasitemia of Haemoproteus

columbae in Columba livia domestica in Southwest of Iran". Iranian J. Parasitol., Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 641-

644. (2013).

[3] Nisar Khan, M.; Nadeem, M.; Iqbal, Z.; Sajid, M.S.; Abbas, R.Z. "Review; Lice Infestation in Poultry".

Internationl Journal of Agriculture & Biology, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 213–216. (2003).

[4] Fasungova, L.; Literak, I.; Sychra, O.; Novotny, L.; Grymova, V.; Kubícek, O.; Smíd, B.; Kulich, P.

"Pinching off syndrome in two White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in the Czech Republic". J.

Raptor Res., Vol. 42, pp. 65-66. (2008).

[5] Quillfeldt, P.; Arriero, E.; Martínez, J.; Masello, J.F; Merino, S. "Prevalence of blood parasites in

seabirds". A review; Front. Zool., Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 26. (2011).

[6] Gilik,Y.; Arslan. M.O. "Blood parasites of wild Pigeon in Ankara District". Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci.,

Vol. 25, pp. 169- 172. (2011).

[7] Tietzmaques, S.M.; De quadros, R.M.; Da sliva, C.G.; Baldo, M. "Parasites of Columba livia in urban

areas of lages, Southern Brazil". Parasitol. Latinoam., Vol. 62, pp. 183- 187. (2007).

[8] Natala, A.J.; Asemadahun, N.D.; Okubanjo, O.O.; Ulayi, B.M.; Owolabi, Y.H; Jato, I.D.; Yusuf, K.H. "A

Survey of Parasites of Domesticated Pigeon (Columba livia domestic) in Zaria, Nigeria". International

Journal of Soft Computing, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 148-150. (2009).

[9] Soulsby, E.J.L. "Helminth, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals".7th Ed. Bailiere Tindall

and Cassel. Ltd. London, pp. 763-765. (1982).

[10] Dranzoa, C.; Ocaido, M.; Katete, P. "The ecto, gastrointestinal and haemoparasites of live pigeons

(Columba livia) in Kampala, Uganda". Avian Pathol., Vol. 28, pp. 119 -124. (1999).

[11] Adang, K.L.; Oniye, S.J.; Ezealor,A.U. ;Abdu, P.A.; Ajanusi, O.J. "Ectoparasites of Domestic pigeon

(Columba livia domestica, Linnaeus) in Zaria, Nigeria". Research Journal Parasitology, Vol. 3, pp. 2, pp.

79-84. (2008).

[12] Wall, R.; Shearer, D. "Veterinary ectoparasites: Biology, pathology and control", 2nd Ed. London:

Wiley Blackwell, pp. 304. (2001).

[13] Mullen, G.R.; Durden, L.A. "Medical and Veterinary Entomology". Academic Press: London, pp. 597.


[14] Mushi, E.Z.; Bintab, M. G.; Chaboa, R.G.; Ndebelea, R.; Panziraha, R. "Parasites of domestic pigeons

(Columba livia domestica) in Sebele, Gaborone, Botswana". J.S.Afr.vet.Ass., Vol. 71, No. 4, pp. 249-

250. (2000).

[15] Hofstad, M.S.; Barnes, J.H.; Calnek, B.W.; Reid, M. W.; Yoder, H.W., Jr (Eds) "Diseases of Poultry",


th Ed. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. (1984).

[16] Kaufmann, J. "Parasitic Infections of Domestic Animals, a Diagnostic Manual. Germany: Birchanser

Verlage". (1996).

[17] Radfar, M.H.; Fathi, S.; Asl, E. N.; Dehaghi, M.M.; Seghinsara, H.R. "Asurvey of parasites of Domestic

Pigeons (Columbia livia domestica) in South Khorasan", Iranian Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol. 4,

No. 1, pp. 18-23. (2011).

[18] Gülanber, A: Tüzer, E.; Çetinkaya; H. "Haemoproteus columbae infection and Pseudolynchia

canariensis infestation in pigeon in Istanbul", Turkey. J. Fac. Vet. Med. Univ. Istanbul, Vol. 28, No. 1,

pp. 227-229. (2002).

[19] Rodriguez, O.A.; Matta, N.E. "Blood parasites in some birds from eastern plains of Colombia". Mem.

Inst. Oswaldo Cruz., Vol. 96, No. 8, pp. 1173-1176. (2001).

[20] Garvin, M.C.; Remsen, J.V.; Bishop, M.A.; Bennett, G.F. "Hematozoa from passeriform birds in

Louisiana". J. Parasitol., Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 318-321. (1993).

[21] Islam, M.S.; Alim, M.A.; Das, S.; Ghosh, K.K.; Pervin, S.; Lipi, A.; Siddiki, A.Z.; Masuduzzaman, M.;

Hossain, M.A. "Prevalence of Haemoproteus sp in domestic pigeon at Chittagong and Khulna district in

Bangladesh". J. Adv. Parasitol., Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 24 -26. (2014).

[22] Soulsby, J.L. "Genus: Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890. In: Soulsby, E.J.L. (ed.) Helminths, Arthropods and

Protozoa of domesticated animals (7th Ed)". Baillière Tindall, London: pp. 700-705. (1986).

[23] Zinkl, J.G. "Avian Haematology". In: Jain, N.C. (ed.) Schalm’s Veterinary Haematology (4th Ed). Lee &

Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 256–273. (1986).

[24] Londono, A.; Pulgarin, R.P.C.; Blair, S. "Blood Parasites in Birds from the Lowlands of Northern

Colombia". Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 87-93. (2007).

[25] Garnham, P.C.C. "Malaria Parasites and other Haemosporidia". Oxford: Black well Scientific

Publications. (1966).

[26] Fraser, C.M. "The Merck Veterinary Manual", 7 th Ed. Rahway, N.J.: Merck Co. (1991).

[27] Martínez de la Puente, J.; Merino, S.; Lobato, E.; Rivero de Aguilar, J.; del Cerro, S.; Ruiz de

Castañeda, R.and Moreno, J. "Does weather affect biting fly abundance in avian nests? ". Journal of

Avian Biology, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 653-657. (2009).

[28] Martínez de la Puente, J.; Merino, S.; Lobato, E.; Rivero de Aguilar, J.; del Cerro, S.; Ruiz de

Castañeda, R. and Moreno, J. "Nest-climatic factors affect the abundance of biting flies and their effects

on nestling condition". Acta. Oecologica, Vol. 36, pp. 543-547. (2010).

[29] Merlno, S.; Potti, J. and Juan A.R. "Blood Parasites of Passerine Birds from Central Spain". Journal of

wildlife Diseases, Vol. 33, No. 3. (1997).

[30] Adlard, R.D.; Peirce, M. A.; Lederer, R. "Blood parasites of birds from southeast Queensland". A

Journal of Bird Life Australia, Vol. 104, No. 2, pp. 191- 196. (2004).