The Department of Parasitology came into existence as an independent Department ever since the establishment of Assam Veterinary College by the Govt. of Assam in the year 1948. The College at Khanapara, Guwahati with few Departments including Parasitology and affiliation with the Gauhati University stood as the premier institute of Veterinary Education in the North Eastern region of India. At present Parasitology Department is one of the 19 Departments of the College of Veterinary Science , which is a constituent College under the Assam Agricultural University since 1969. The Department was involved in only undergraduate teaching till 1971. Later, in the year 1972 MVSc programme was introduced followed by PhD programme from 1985. Since then , the Department has contributed in producing more than 4053 veterinary graduates, 36 nos. of MVSc and 10 Doctorates in Veterinary Parasitology. At present, 10 students are pursuing post-graduate studies, of which, 2 are in MVSc and 8 in PhD programme. Besides teaching, the Department is also actively involved in research and extension activities relating to the parasitic diseases as per the mandate of the Assam Agricultura University. This Department has a glorious past and distinction of having its alumni holding respectable position as teachers, research workers, policy maker and administrators with significant contribution in all spheres including animal health and production.
Dr. Bhabani Prasad Borkakoti,GBVC, PG was the founder Head of the Department since 1948 to 1968. Subsequently, Dr. Abdur Raquib, GVSc, PG, MS (1968-1973), Dr. Bhupendra Chandra Lahkar, BVSc&AH (1973-1975), Dr. Nirmalendu Choudhury, MVSc, PhD (1975-1980), Dr. B.C.Lahkar, MVSc (1980-1987), Dr. Ambu Ram Gogoi, MVSc, PhD (1987-1993), Dr. B.C.Lahkar, MVSc, PhD (!993-1997), Dr. Manuranjan Borkakoty, MVSc, PhD (1997-2003), Dr. Manoranjan Das, MVSc, PhD (2003-2008), Dr.M.R.Borkakoty, MVSc, PhD (2008-2010), Dr. Prabhat Chandra Sarmah, MVSc, PhD (2010-2018), Dr. Dilip Kumar Deka, MVSc,PhD (2018-2020) served as the Head of the Department. At present, Dr. Saidul Islam, MVSc, PhD is serving as the Head of the Department since 2020. Presently, the Department has 4 Professors and 3 Assistant Professors. Except two Assistant Professors, who are under study leave pursuing higher studies leading to PhD, all the other faculties of the Department are qualified up to Doctorate level.
Since its inception, the Department has made significant contribution in the areas of Taxonomy, Life-cycle , Epidemiology, Pathology, Diagnosis , Chemotherapy and Control of Parasitic diseases of domestic animals , birds, zoo and wild animals. The prime areas of research conducted are on diseases like Fascioliasis, Schistosomiasis, gastrointestinal nematodiasis, Filarial dermatitis, Hydatidosis, Porcine and bovine cysticercosis, Monieziasis, Coccidiosis, Poultry cestodiasis, Gnathostomiasis, Tick and mite infestation and haemoparastiic infections. Owing to experience with a climate of high humidity, moderate temperature, abundant rainfall with recurrent flood during monsoon, the animals of Assam and also the adjoining states commonly suffer from parasitic diseases resulting deterioration of health and productivity. The Department has been able to collect a good number of helminthological specimens for the parasitological museum. These preserved specimens are very useful for the students in practical learning and as a source of reference for the research workers. Every year, the under graduate students are exposed to learn parasitology by assigning collection of ecto- and endoparasites from animals and birds.
The Department has been able to achieve a lot in the field of parasitological research. Some of the salient findings are:-1. Mapping of wetland habitats of aquatic snails through remote sensing satellite data, identification of snails with cercarial fauna and indigenous phytomolluscicides.2. Identification of intermediate hosts of several poultry tapeworms. 3. Identification of tick and mite fauna infesting domestic and wild animals. 4. identification of helminth fauna of cattle, buffalo, goat, pig dog, cat, and poultry in Assam and development of bioclimatograph for forecasting haemonchosis.5. Hydatidosis/cysticercosis and fish-borne zoonotic helminths prevalent in Assam.6. Identification of parasites of wildlife including epidemiology. life-cycle, pathology, diagnosis and chemotherapy of Fasciola jacksoni in Asian elephants.7. Establishment of Gnathostoma spinigerum in Anabas scandens. 8. Coccidian parasites of poultry, cattle, goat and pig. 9. Formulation of low cost treatment against humpsore. 10. Status of haemoparasites in companion animals and formulation of 2-drug regimen for treatment of clinical babesiosis in dogs.
Besides teaching and research, the Department has been providing expertise and diagnostic services in the field of parasitology to the needy livestock farmers and pet owners, teaching veterinary clinics , Assam state Zoo , National parks and other organizations. The Department is also providing advanced training on the latest diagnostic methods and treatment to the field veterinarians and to the livestock farmers in management of parasitic diseases. Moreover, the mission of the Department is to achieve further excellence in :-1. Teaching by way of adoption of innovative teaching methodology for producing competent human resource for improvement of health and production of livestock.2. Developing research methodologies for accurate and early diagnosis of parasitic diseases and preparation of epidemiological map of parasites in Assam.3. Upgrading the existing museum of diverse parasites which are available in the NE region of the country for better education and research.4. Extending quality service to the livestock farmers for better health care and management of parasitic diseases.
Above all rural development is essential to strengthen the economy of our nation which is closely linked to agriculture of which livestock is an integral sector.