Assessment of risk factors for porcine cysticercosis transmission and animal welfare in selected villages in Nyasa, Tanzania
Porcine cysticercosis (PC) caused by Taenia solium is a neglected parasite causing great economic losses to pig farmers and public health risks in endemic countries. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence, risk factors for PC transmission and pig welfare in Nyasa District. To establish the prevalence of PC, a cross-sectional survey was conducted involving 698 pigs by tongue examination and 330 pigs by Ag-ELISA test. A questionnaire survey was administered to a member of the selected households to gather information on factors that could explain the prevalence of PC in the area and pig welfare issues complemented with direct observation. Results showed that 44 pigs were positive by lingual examination (6.3%, 95% C.I. 4.5 - 8.1%) and 110 (33.3%, 95% C.I. 28.22 - 38.38%) tested positive for Ag-ELISA. Risk factors associated with PC transmission in the study area were free ranging of pigs (p=0001), sex of pig (p=0.011), source of pork (p=0.0001) and open air defecation (p=0.0001). In the study area the animal welfare was greatly deprived such askept without water for long time, kept direct to sunlight, had inflicted wounds and transported in wrong facilities. The present findings indicate that PC is endemic in Nyasa District and that free-ranging of pigs together with limited use of latrines contributed to PC transmission and pig welfare was violated. For effective control of PC in the study area; pig confinement and use of latrine/toilets should be observed and welfare of pigs should be considered.
Keywords: Taenia solium, pig welfare; prevalence; risk factors; Nyasa, Tanzania