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Re-infection with Fasciola gigantica 6-month post-treatment with triclabendazole in cattle from mobile pastoralist husbandry systems at Lake Chad

Greter, Helena, Batil, Annour A., Alfaroukh, Idriss O., Grimm, Felix, Ngandolo, Bongo N., Keiser, Jennifer, Utzinger, Jürg, Zinsstag, Jakob, Hattendorf, Jan
Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.230 pp. 43-48
Fasciola gigantica, cattle, confidence interval, dry season, fascioliasis, fecal egg count, feces, herds, migratory behavior, rearing, sodium, transhumance, triclabendazole, Central Africa, Lake Chad
At Lake Chad in central Africa, livestock fascioliasis caused by Fasciola gigantica represents a major veterinary health problem, particularly in cattle reared in mobile pastoralist husbandry systems. We assessed re-infection after a single dose of triclabendazole with fascioliasis in cattle in a mobile pastoralist setting towards the end of the dry season. Within the cattle herds of 14 groups of mobile pastoralists, 375 cattle were randomly selected. A faecal sample was obtained from each animal to determine the prevalence of F. gigantica. Animals were administered a single oral dose of triclabendazole (12mg/kg). A second faecal sample was obtained 6-month post-treatment after cattle had returned from the annual migration cycle. Faecal samples were fixed in sodium acetate-acetic acid-formalin (SAF), and examined for F. gigantica using the sedimentation technique. From the 375 cattle enrolled at baseline, 198 animals (53%) in 12 groups of mobile pastoralists were re-sampled at the 6-month follow-up. Baseline prevalence did not differ noteworthy between animals lost to follow-up and those re-examined. At baseline, bovine fascioliasis prevalence in cattle with follow-up data was 41.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.2–48.9%). At the 6-month post-treatment follow-up, the prevalence was 46.0% (95% CI 39.2–52.9%), ranging between 0% and 75% at the herd level. The mean faecal egg counts at the unit of the herd were higher at follow-up compared to baseline. The observed persistent high prevalence of F. gigantica infection in cattle shows that a single pre-rainy season treatment does not prevent rapid re-infection despite the partial migration away from the high-risk areas at Lake Chad into drier areas. A locally adapted strategic control package for fascioliasis in cattle in the Lake Chad area ought to integrate targeted triclabendazole treatment and seasonal transhumance practices.