Original Research

Rumen protozoa in South African sheep with a summary of the worldwide distribution of sheep protozoa

Dirk Booyse, Burk A. Dehority
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 78, No 1 | a307 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v78i1.307 | © 2011 Dirk Booyse, Burk A. Dehority | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2010 | Published: 15 July 2011

About the author(s)

Dirk Booyse, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Burk A. Dehority, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University, United States

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Protozoa species were identified in rumen contents of four domestic sheep (Ovis aries) from South Africa. All animals were fed a forage diet which consisted of 50% lucerne and 50% teff hay. Ten new host records were identified, bringing the total number of species and forms observed in sheep in South Africa to 30. The occurrence and geographic distribution of ciliate protozoa in both domestic and wild sheep from around the world are summarised. It was found that 15 genera and 131 species occur in domestic sheep globally.


Ciliate protozoa; domestic sheep; Ovis aries; rumen; South Africa; wild sheep


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