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Acta Trop. 2003 Feb;85(2):287-93.

The changing epidemiology of echinococcosis in Kazakhstan due to transformation of farming practices.

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  • 1Institute of Zoology, Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science, Al Farabia Street, Almaty, Kazakhstan.


In recent years there has been a substantial increase in cystic echinococcosis in Kazakhstan. There are several factors that have contributed to this change in the epidemiology of the disease. The primary reason was the degradation of traditional nomadic system of livestock breeding and closing of large collective farms. Small private farms have started to keep stock year round in closer proximity to permanent human habitation. Furthermore, routine anthelmintic prophylaxis of dogs has been abandoned and there is inadequate control over the use and disposal of animal carcasses. Large mechanized slaughterhouses are no longer operational. Now more people (7-8 times) and more dogs (8-10 times) participate in the husbandry of 1000 sheep, than during Soviet administration. Because of the close association of dogs with man there is the potential for a substantial increase in eggs and of Echinococcus in immediate environment of inhabited houses. Soil samples taken from 61% of yards of village homes contained taeniid eggs and from 35% of yards from around farmsteads. During an examination of 1464 village dogs the average rate of infection with Echinococcus granulosus was 5.8%, whilst the prevalence in 607 shepherd dogs was 23.2%. At present, these dogs represent a major source of infection for people with this dangerous parasite. Examination of hospital records suggested that children and people in occupations associated with animal husbandry were at most risk of infection.

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