Prevalence and seasonal incidence of larval and adult cestode infections of sheep and goats in eastern Ethiopia

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2008 Aug;40(6):387-94. doi: 10.1007/s11250-007-9096-z. Epub 2007 Nov 8.


A study on the prevalence and seasonal incidence of cestode parasite infections of sheep and goats was carried out in eastern Ethiopia for 2 years (May 2003-April 2005). During this period, viscera including liver, lungs, heart, kidneys and the gastro-intestinal tract were collected from 655 sheep and 632 goats slaughtered at four abattoirs located in the towns of Haramaya, Harar, Dire Dawa and Jijiga. At the abattoirs the abdominal, thoracic and pelvic cavities as well as the muscle surfaces of all animals were visually examined for the presence of larval (cystic) stages of cestode parasites. The viscera were transported within 24 h to the parasitology laboratory of Haramaya University and were examined for larval and adult cestodes following standard procedures. The most prevalent metacestodes (larval cestodes) were Cysticercus ovis (Taenia ovis), Cysticercus tenuicollis (T. hydatigena) and hydatid cysts (Echinococcus granulosus). In sheep, the overall prevalence was 26% for C. ovis, 79% for C. tenuicollis, and 68% for hydatid cysts. Similarly, for goats, the corresponding prevalence was 22%, 53% and 65%, respectively. The difference between sheep and goats in prevalence of C. tenuicollis was significant. The high prevalence of hydatid cysts in both sheep and goats indicates that cystic echinococcosis/hydatidosis is a public health problem in these regions which requires implementation of control measures, including public health education, strict meat inspection and control of stray dogs. The results of the survey also implies that infections of small ruminants with these metacestodes are responsible for condemnation of substantial quantities of affected organs and muscles and therefore of direct economic importance. Intestinal infections with adult tapeworms of Moniezia expansa, Avitellina centripunctata and Stilesia globipunctata, and bile duct infections with Stilesia hepatica were also common in both sheep and goats. In sheep, the overall prevalence of these tapeworms were 61%, 20%, 24% and 39%, respectively. Similarly, the overall prevalence of these parasites in goats was 53%, 21%, 27% and 36%, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cestoda / isolation & purification*
  • Cestode Infections / epidemiology
  • Cestode Infections / parasitology
  • Cestode Infections / veterinary*
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Goat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Goat Diseases / parasitology*
  • Goats
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Seasons
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sheep Diseases / parasitology*