Retrospective study on Cystic Echinococcosis in cattle of Italy
Cystic Echinoccocosis in cattle
Introduction: Cystic Echinococcosis (CE) is one of the most widespread zoonosis of veterinary and medical importance still constituting a sanitary, economic and socio-cultural problem in Italy.
Methodology: The aim of this study was to update epidemiological data on cattle CE in Italy. Data on CE positivity of 5,336 cattle were acquired from abattoir registers between January 2009 and July 2010. Morphobiological characterization of hydatids was performed by direct examination of liver and lungs of 1,664 animals butchered in the same slaughterhouses in 2010. Strain typing of parasites was carried out through the amplification and sequencing of nd1 and cox1 mitochondrial genes.
Results: Overall CE prevalence was of 8.1% (430/5,336). Parasitological examination of hydatids showed an overall prevalence of 8.6% with a fertility rate of 0.7% (12/1,664). Regarding localization, hydatids were found in 8% of the livers and in 7.6% of the lungs, respectively. Among positive animals, higher prevalence was observed in the liver (93%) compared to lungs (88.1%) (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The economic loss due to organs condemnation related to CE in cattle amounted to almost € 24,000 per year in the examined abattoir during 2010. Sequence analysis showed the presence of G1 (sheep strain) or Echinococcus granulosus sensu strictu in all examined samples. The G1 confirmed, once more, its possible development into several intermediate hosts such as cattle, especially in areas like southern Italy and Sardinia where the lifecycle of the parasite is still to date carried on by sheep and dogs.
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