Main content area

Cystic echinococcosis in marketed offal of sheep in Basrah, Iraq: Abattoir-based survey and a probabilistic model estimation of the direct economic losses due to hydatid cyst

Abdulhameed, Mohanad F., Habib, Ihab, Al-Azizz, Suzan A., Robertson, Ian
Parasite epidemiology and control 2018 v.3 no.1 pp. 43-51
Monte Carlo method, confidence interval, echinococcosis, epidemiology, expert opinion, financial economics, human health, humans, hydatids, liver, livestock productivity, lungs, meat inspection, meat products, ovine carcasses, parasites, probabilistic models, sheep, simulation models, slaughterhouses, surveys, uncertainty, veterinarians, zoonoses, Iraq
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a highly endemic parasitic zoonosis in Iraq with substantial impacts on livestock productivity and human health. The objectives of this study were to study the abattoir-based occurrence of CE in marketed offal of sheep in Basrah province, Iraq, and to estimate, using a probabilistic modelling approach, the direct economic losses due to hydatid cysts. Based on detailed visual meat inspection, results from an active abattoir survey in this study revealed detection of hydatid cysts in 7.3% (95% CI: 5.4; 9.6) of 631 examined sheep carcasses. Post-mortem lesions of hydatid cyst were concurrently present in livers and lungs of more than half (54.3% (25/46)) of the positive sheep. Direct economic losses due to hydatid cysts in marketed offal were estimated using data from government reports, the one abattoir survey completed in this study, and expert opinions of local veterinarians and butchers. A Monte-Carlo simulation model was developed in a spreadsheet utilizing Latin Hypercube sampling to account for uncertainty in the input parameters. The model estimated that the average annual economic losses associated with hydatid cysts in the liver and lungs of sheep marketed for human consumption in Basrah to be US$72,470 (90% Confidence Interval (CI); ±11,302). The mean proportion of annual losses in meat products value (carcasses and offal) due to hydatid cysts in the liver and lungs of sheep marketed in Basrah province was estimated as 0.42% (90% CI; ±0.21). These estimates suggest that CE is responsible for considerable livestock-associated monetary losses in the south of Iraq. These findings can be used to inform different regional CE control program options in Iraq.