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Taeniid metacestodes in rangeland goats in Australia

Jenkins, D.J., Cowled, B., Brookes, V.
Veterinary parasitology 2018 v.255 pp. 1-9
Canis lupus, Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia hydatigena, dingoes, dogs, foxes, goats, hybrids, intermediate hosts, meat, metacestodes, monitoring, parasites, rangelands, sheep, slaughter, slaughterhouses, wildlife, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia
Data on several infections of sheep and goats, including parasite infections, are routinely collected during inspection of harvested rangeland goats after slaughter. This is an important role of the Australian National Sheep Health Monitoring Program (NSHMP). Our study investigated the presence of metacestodes of Taenia hydatigena, T. ovis and Echinococcus granulosus in slaughtered goats from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. During the period of the study (2007–2013) 374,580 goats were slaughtered and inspected by trained abattoir meat inspectors as part of the NSHMP. Taenia hydatigena was found most commonly, followed by T. ovis. Despite one probable false positive, the surveyed population of goats was demonstrated to be free of infection by E. granulosus at a design prevalence of 0.1%. In areas where goats, foxes and wild dogs (dingoes [Canis lupus dingo] and dingo/domestic dog [Canis lupus] hybrids) co-exist they could be perpetuating the transmission of T. hydatigena and T. ovis as a wildlife reservoir. Rangeland goats do not appear to be an intermediate host for E. granulosus. Despite having similar lifecycles, T. hydatigena and T. ovis appeared to occur with different geographical patterns. This is the first time rangeland goats have been investigated for infection with taeniid metacestodes in such large numbers and over a wide geographical area.