Hydatidosis, caused by the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, is one of the most important helminthzoonosis in the world. The distribution of hydatidosis is normally associated with underdeveloped countries, especially in rural communities where humans maintain close contact with dogs and various domestic animals, which may act as intermediate hosts. This study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence of hydatidosis and the fertility/sterility rates of hydatid cysts in cattle and sheep slaughtered in Addis Ababa Abattoir, Ethiopia. Postmortem examination, hydatid cyst characterization and questionnaire survey were conducted. In the study, 19.7% cattle and 13.47% sheep were found harboring hydatid cyst. Though it was difficult to know the exact origin of the animals, cattle brought from Harar 36%, northern Shewa 28%, Nazareth 22%, Arsi 10% and others 4% were infected. Difference in prevalence rates were highly significant (p < 0.005) between cattle and sheep. The occurrences of hydatid cyst were 48, 31.7, 16.3, 1.7 and 2.4% in cattle and 41.7, 56.7, 0.8 and 0.8% in sheep, lung, liver, kidney, spleen and heart, respectively. Of the total of 1479 hydatid cysts in cattle and 175 in sheep counted 38.2, 29.8, 7.3, and 24.7% in cattle and 64, 11.4, 1.7 and 22.9% in sheep were found to be small, medium, large and calcified cysts, respectively. Among the hydatid cysts, 55.4, 19.3 and 25.3% in cattle (n = 1479) and 22.5, 59.1 and 18.5% in sheep (n = 175) were sterile, fertile and calcified, respectively. Viability rates of 60.5% in cattle and 78.3% in sheep were observed. The rate of calcification was higher in the liver than in the lung while fertility rate was higher among the cysts of the lung for both cattle and sheep. The questionnaire survey revealed the difference in the awareness about zoonotic Hydatidosis, that is, 8, 100 and 16% in household, abattoir workers and butchers, respectively. The findings of the present study reflect the economic and zoonotic impact of hydatidosis which deserves serious attention by the various stakeholders in order to reduce losses and safe guard the public health.
Key words: Prevalence, hydatidosis, cattle, sheep, Ethiopia.
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