The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Cysticercus tenuicollis, identify factors that can influence its occurrence and to assess the distribution of the cyst in the visceral organs of sheep and goats slaughtered at Dire Dawa municipal abattoir. A total of 845 animals (425 sheep and 420 goats) were examined at the abattoir. The overall prevalence of C. tenuicollis was 24.6% (95% CI = 21.7 - 27.5) and 22.8 and 26.4% in sheep and goats respectively. Body condition of sheep was the only risk factor in which the prevalence of C. tenuicollis significantly varied (×2 = 19.353, P < 0.05). Sheep with poor body condition (39.8%) were found most infected compared to medium (21.8%) and good (14.5%) body condition. There was no significant variation in the prevalence of C. tenuicollis between sheep and goats, because species mainly dependent on grazing, and hence, had equal exposure and opportunity to get infected. The cyst was found most frequently attached to liver, omentum and peritoneum both in sheep and goats. In conclusion, the presence of C. tenuicollis at a higher prevalence and the consequent effect on small ruminant signify the need for the control of stray dog population, deworming of dogs, and avoidance of backyard slaughter and proper disposal of infected viscera to curtail the problem.
Key words: Prevalence, Cysticercus tenuicollis, sheep and goats, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.
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