Author(s): Saeed I, Kapel C, Saida LA, Willingham L, Nansen P
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Abstract During the period 1990-1998, 99 cases of human cystic hydatidosis (12.4 cases per year) were surgically treated at the two main hospitals in Arbil province, northern Iraq, and from this the human occurence for the province was estimated to be 2 per 100,000 inhabitants. In the same area, 1270 sheep, 550 goats and 320 cattle were examined at slaughter for hydatid cysts and prevalence rates were found to be 15.0\%, 6.2\% and 10.9\%, respectively. A decreasing tendency in livestock prevalences was found towards the end of the study period. As in humans, most of the hydatid cysts in livestock were located in the liver. Fertility of sheep cysts, i.e. those containing protoscoleces, was found to be significantly higher (64\%) than that of goats (35.7\%) and cattle (29.8\%). The percentage of fertile cysts containing viable protoscoleces varied between 63 and 82\% in the livers and between 72 and 79\% in the lungs of the different animal species. A total of 97 stray dogs were examined post-mortem in the years 1991, 1992 and 1998, and Echinococcus granulosus worms were found in the intestines of 48 dogs (49.5\%). High worm burdens (> 1000) were observed in 37\% of the dogs, medium worm burdens (200-1000) in 41\%, and low worm burdens (< 200) in 22\%. In 1998, the prevalence of canine echinococcosis (24.3\%) was found to be significantly lower than in 1991 (70.4\%) and 1992 (60.6\%). The prevalence of human hydatidosis did not differ significantly over the years, but the study confirmed that hydatidosis is endemic in northern Iraq, and that housewives, labourers and farmers appear to be at the greatest risk of infection.
This article was published in J Helminthol
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access