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Muscular Sarcocystis infection in ruminants slaughtered at Municipality abattoir and selected Hotels in Hawassa city, southern Ethiopia: Prevalence and associated risk factors

Mekibib, Berhanu, Abdisa, Dawit, Denbarga, Yifat, Abebe, Rahmeto
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2019 v.18 pp. 100333
Sarcocystis, carnivores, cats, cattle, cross-sectional studies, definitive hosts, dogs, economic impact, farmers, goats, heart, histopathology, meat, mixed infection, muscles, parasites, risk factors, sarcocystosis, sheep, slaughterhouses, villages, wild animals, zoonoses, Ethiopia
Sarcocystosis is a parasitic zoonosis caused by Sarcocystis spp. which are Apicomplexan parasites requiring intermediate and definitive hosts to complete their life cycle. Although the parasite has worldwide distribution in man and many species of animals, the prevalence in most parts of Ethiopia is not clearly known. This cross sectional study was conducted between Nov. 2016 and May 2017 to estimate the prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in ruminants slaughtered in the municipality abattoir and at selected hotels of Hawassa city and to assess the potential risk factors. Data were collected through gross and histopathological examination of myocardial and esophageal muscles sampled from a total of 561 ruminants (176 sheep, 181 goats and 204 cattle). The overall prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in ruminants was 68.98%. All of the cysts were microscopic, and found more frequently (p < .05) in heart (62.08%) than esophageal muscle (45.45%) although concurrent infection of both organs was observed in 33.87% of the ruminants examined. No significant association was noted between Sarcocystis infection and the origin, sex and species of ruminants examined (p > .05). The higher prevalence recorded in the study area can be explained by the abundance of stray dogs, cats and wild carnivores that are roaming in the villages, lack of proper latrine, uncontrolled disposal of condemned offals and carcass, and provision of uncooked meat for dogs and cats. Thus, farmers' awareness creation and strategies targeted at breaking the life cycle of the parasite are required to reduce the prevalence of the parasite and thereby the foreseen zoonotic and economic impact.