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Zoonoses Public Health. 2008;55(2):82-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2007.01091.x.

Bovine cysticercosis in cattle slaughtered at Awassa municipal abattoir, Ethiopia: prevalence, cyst viability, distribution and its public health implication.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hawassa University, PO Box 5, Awassa, Ethiopia.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2005 to April 2006 on bovine cysticercosis in cattle slaughtered at Awassa municipal abattoir with the objective of determining the prevalence of Taenia saginata cysticercosis, cyst viability, distribution and its public health implication. Questionnaire survey involving 120 respondents was also conducted on human taeniasis. A total of 400 carcasses were examined during the study period, of which 105 (26.25%) were infected with T. saginata metacestodes. From a total of 3200 samples inspected, 500 cysticerci were detected in 141 samples, of which 221 (44.2%) were alive. The anatomical distribution of cysticerci were 65 (29.2%) heart, 56 (25.3%) shoulder muscle, 59 (26.7%) masseter, 23 (10.4%) tongue, 12 (5.4%) diaphragm, three (1.4%) liver, two (0.9%) lung and one (0.5%) kidney samples. The prevalence varied significantly between local and crossbred animals (OR = 3.15, P < 0.05), but not varied between sex, age groups and origin of the animals. T. saginata taeniasis was a widespread public health problem in the town with an overall prevalence of 64.2% (77 of 120). The potential risk factors for disease contraction were raw meat consumption, religion and occupational risks. In conclusion, the study revealed high prevalence of T. saginata metacestodes throughout the edible organs together with existence of deep-rooted tradition of raw meat consumption. This may magnify the public health hazards of T. saginata in the study area. As a result, the disease deserves due attention to safeguard the public health and further promote beef industry in the country.

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