Comparative analyses of coproscopical techniques to diagnose enteroparasites in a group of captive Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Captive animals commonly have infections by direct life cycle parasites, since they are easily transmitted between individuals. However, diagnosing these infections in the laboratory is challenging due to the wide variety of parasite, their life stages and to the variety of available diagnose techniques, being difficult to choose the best one. The present study sampled a group of captive Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) from Sao Paulo Zoological Park Foundation, Sao Paulo, Brazil, to test and compare different coproscopical techniques commonly applied in veterinarian clinical analysis laboratories: direct smear, concentrations by sodium chlorite, sucrose, zinc sulphate, faecal sedimentation and formalin-ether followed by modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values (positive and negative) and Cohen’s kappa index were calculated. In total 108 samples were processed and parasites found were: nonsporulated coccidian oocysts (91.7%), Capillarinae eggs (89.8%), unidentified nematode larvae (75%), Ascarididae eggs (63%), unidentified nematode adults (60.2%), unidentified nematode eggs (42.6%), strongylid-like eggs (42.6%), Cryptosporidium spp. (28.7%), flagellated (15.7%) and ciliated (10.2%) protozoans, trematode eggs (0.9%), Acanthocephala eggs (0.9%), Adeleidae oocysts (0.9%) and Cruzia sp. eggs (0.9%). Sensitivity and specificity varied considerably between parasite groups. Cohen’s Kappa index reinforces the recommendation of applying more than one technique to diagnose enteroparasites infections.