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Distribution, prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma bovis infection in cattle in Iringa district, Tanzania

Veterinary parasitology / v.75 no.1. 1998, pp.59-69

Author : Makundi, A.E ; Kassuku, A.A ; Maselle, R.M ; Boa, M.E

Abstract : Abstract Monthly abattoir, farms and village surveys were carried out to determine the distribution, prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma bovis infection in cattle in Iringa district in the southern highlands of Tanzania between August 1991 to August 1992. Abattoir surveys were conducted at the Iringa regional abattoir and age, sex, live animal grade and livestock market of origin of each of 342 animals examined were recorded. Five grams of the central part of the jejunum were collected from each animal and schistosome egg counting was carried out after tissue digestion. Nine farms and six villages were randomly selected and age, sex and origin of 501 cattle was recorded. Faecal samples were collected from each animal and quantification of schistosome eggs was carried out by means of the Modified Bell filtration technique. Abattoir surveys revealed S. bovis to be present in 116 out of 342 cattle examined in 10 out of the 12 livestock markets surveyed giving a point prevalence of 34%. A high frequency (70.1%) of low tissue egg counts (#x003C;200 eggs per gram) was observed among the infected animals. The prevalences and intensities of infection observed in the slaughtered cattle were not related to the age-group, sex and grade of the animals. Results from faecal egg counts in nine farms and six villages disclosed that the infection was predominant in four farms (Lulanzi, Igumbiro, Ruaha and Mlolo) and three villages (Itunundu, Ibumu and Lulanzi). Egg counts per gram of faeces (EPGF) at Lulanzi dairy farm revealed a peak egg excretion in 1#x2013;3 yr old animals which was followed by a decline in the number of EPGF within the age group of 3- to 9-yr old animals. However, the faecal egg excretion tended to rise again in animals over 9 years old. Deaths of four animals which were preceded by signs of intermittent diarrhea, loss of condition, anaemia and high faecal egg counts was observed at Lulanzi farm. Postmortem examination of the dead animals revealed that they had severe schistosomal lesions and higher tissue egg counts than the slaughtered cattle. It was concluded from the present study that S. bovis infection in cattle is very common in foci in Iringa district and possibly the whole of the southern highlands of Tanzania and in some enzootic farms it could be among the major causes of ill-health and lowered productivity.

Keyword : Schistosoma bovis . Tanzania . Epidemiology . Prevalence . Intensity . Cattle

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