Prevalence and associated economic losses of bovine hydatidosis in selected abattoirs in Kericho, Kenya - an analysis of abattoir data.
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Hydatidosis is an emerging zoonotic parasitic disease that is caused by a dog tapeworm, Echinococcus species. The parasite has a complex life cycle with intermediate and definitive hosts. A retrospective study was carried out in six selected abattoirs in Kericho County to determine the prevalence and economic significance in beef industry. Postmortem meat inspection records for the period 2010 and 2014 were reviewed for the number of animals slaughtered and the organs condemned due to hydatid cyst infection and associated economic importance. A total of 29,285 cattle were slaughtered during this period, with highest slaughter in the year 2012 of 20.8%, followed by 2013 and 2014 with 20.5% each, 19.5% in 2011 and 18.7% in 2010. Nine hundred and thirty one (931) livers and 817 lungs were condemned giving an overall prevalence of 3.2% and 2.8% respectively. The highest proportion of the livers condemned was in 2011 of 39.6% (369/931) with the least 8.6% (80/931) in 2010. Similarly, the highest number of lungs condemned was recorded in the year 2011 of 38.6% (315/817) and the least 9.1% (74/817) in 2010. Though more livers than lungs were condemned, there was no significant statistical difference between the two (P=0.220). The total revenue lost due to condemnation of these organs was KSh. 2,188,800 (~US$22,335) with Kericho abattoir recording the highest economic loss (Ksh 448,000; ~US$4,571). Hydatidosis causes huge economic losses and poses a risk to public health and therefore proper control measures are necessary to reduce infections in livestock and potential cross over to humans.
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