The Potential Role Played by Various Livestock Intermediate Hosts in the Transmission of Hydatidosis in Kenya

  • P N Ndirangu
  • F M Njeruh
  • P B Gathura
  • M N Kyule


A study was conducted to determine the potential role played by cattle, sheep, goats and pigs in the transmission of hydatidosis in Kenya. The fertility and viability status of the hydatid cysts collected from these livestock intermediate hosts, at slaughter, were used in this evaluation. A cross-sectional survey was carried out in Nairobi\'s Dagoretti slaughterhouse and Ndumbu-ini, pig abattoir during routine post-mortem meat inspection. All hydatid cysts detected in cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were collected for laboratory analysis to determined by microscopic examination of harvested hydatid cysts fluid for the presence of protoscolices using the 0.1% Eosin Exclusion Test. Out of the 300carcasses of sheep, goats, and pigs examined, 7%, 8% and 5% harbored the cysts, respectively. Hydatid cysts from goats showed the highest fertility (87.5%), followed by those from cattle (81.4%), pigs (80%) and sheep (57.4%). Hydatid cysts from sheep showed the highest viability (100%), followed by those from goats with 85.7%, cattle with 68.6% and pigs 50%. Sheep and goats are the animals most commonly slaughtered for parties and other festivities where meat inspection is hardly carried out. Due to this as well as the high rates of fertility and viability showed by their cysts, sheep and goats may play a greatest role since all of the fertile hydatid cysts from this species were viable. These results indicate that in any hydatid disease control programme, sheep, goats, should be the livestock species included, if satisfactory control Hydatidosis is to be achieved in Kenya. This is because, only fertile and viable hydatid cysts are capable of transmitting hydatidosis to definitive hosts.

The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 27 2004: pp. 77-82

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