Ethiopian Journal of Health Development

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Occurrence of bovine hydatidosis and evaluation of its risk to humans in traditional communities of Southern Region of Ethiopia

O Jones, N Kebede, T Kassa, G Tilahun, C Macias


Background: Cystic Echinococcosis/ Hydatid Disease, is an infection caused by the larval stage of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, one of the most widespread parasitic zoonoses.
Objective: To determine the occurrence, localization and fertility/sterility rates of hydatid cyst in cattle, to determine the prevalence of adult E. granulosus in dogs and asses the risk for human infection in traditional communities.
Methods: Postmortem examination, hydatid cyst characterization,  questionnaire survey and dog stool sample examination were carried out.
Results: Of the total 320 ruminants examined at backyard slaughtering, 151 (47.2%) were found harboring hydatid cysts. The liver and lungs were the two main infected organs, 34.4% and 52.3%, respectively. The majority of the cysts found were small, 54.3%, and medium, 37.7%. From the total number of cysts found, 70.2% were sterile, while 29.8% were fertile. A questionnaire survey revealed that local people were unaware of the life cycle of E. granulosus and the perpetuation of its life cycle by their cultural and traditional practices. Dogs have intimate contact with humans
and other domestic animals, share the same house and also dogs do not have access for veterinary care. Stool samples of 62 dogs were collected and analyzed with a 30% prevalence of taenia infection confirmed to be E. granulosus.
Conclusion: Because of the high prevalence of E. granulosus infection in dogs and hydatidosis in cattle as well as common practice of backyard slaughtering, the risk of human infection in traditional communities is suspected to be high and requires immediate attention to study the status of cystic ehinococcosis in the human population of the study area.

[Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2012;26(1):43-48]

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