Echinococcosis in Kenya: transmission characteristics,incidence and control measures
Gathura, P B
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Kenya has the highest reported incidence of human hydatid disease in the world. Up to about 30% of cattle, 15% of goats and 13% of sheep harbour the infection. The causative agent of the disease in Kenya is Echinococcus granulosus and a complex strain picture of this parasite has been postulated to occur. The domestic dog is the main definitive host of E. granulosus in Kenya but infection in wild carnivores has also been reported. Hydatid cysts have also been found in wild herbivores. Although the domestic cycle has been shown to be the most important mode of transmission of the disease, a sylvatic cycle is also known to exist. The etiology of hydatid disease, the strain differentiation of E. granulosus found in Kenya, and the role that wildlife plays in the transmission cycle is reviewed. The current trends in the incidence of hydatid disease in man and livestock, and the efforts being made to control the disease are also discussed.