Epidemiological updates and economic losses due to Taenia hydatigena in sheep from Sardinia, Italy

Parasitol Res. 2015 Aug;114(8):3137-43. doi: 10.1007/s00436-015-4532-x. Epub 2015 May 14.


The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiology and transmission of Taenia hydatigena in sheep and dogs from Sardinia and the economic estimation of losses due to this metacestodosis in lambs. A total of 7781 Sarda breed lambs were examined at abattoirs for the detection of Cysticercus tenuicollis or necrotic-haemorrhagic tracks of their migration. Morphological and molecular identification of parasites was carried out. Individual faecal samples from 300 dogs were examined for copromicroscopic investigations and coproELISA assay. An overall prevalence of 14.6% for T. hydatigena cysticercosis was found in the examined lambs. In total, 10,807 parasitary tracks were found, with an abundance of 1.39 and an average intensity of 9.52. The molecular analysis of the isolates showed an overall pairwise nucleotide divergence for the CO1 and ND1 was of 0-3.1 and 0-3.3%, respectively. Low intra- and interspecific variation was recorded for C. tenuicollis isolates used in this study which suggested the absence of differentiation. Microscopic examination of dog faeces showed a total prevalence of 31.3% for endoparasites in the examined samples (94/300). Taeniid eggs were found in 8.3% of the dogs. The results of the monoclonal antibody ATH4 ELISA test showed a prevalence of 11% (33/300) for T. hydatigena coproantigens. The total economic costs related to cysticercosis amounted to almost € 330,000. The prevalence of C. tenuicollis in 14.6% of 30-40-day-old lambs highlights the high parasitic pressure by T. hydatigena in the territory of Sardinia, Italy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cysticercosis / economics
  • Cysticercosis / epidemiology
  • Cysticercosis / parasitology
  • Cysticercosis / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / economics
  • Sheep Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sheep Diseases / parasitology*
  • Taenia*