Prevalence and risk factors of Echinococcus granulosus infection in dogs in Moroto and Bukedea districts in Uganda
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A cross sectional study was conducted in Moroto and Bukedea districts of Uganda from May to September 2013 to determine the prevalence and risk factors of Echinococcus granulosus infection in dogs. Fresh dog faecal samples were collected, preserved in 70 % ethanol, and later screened for presence of taeniid eggs using zinc chloride floatation method. Positive samples were confirmed by a copro-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) for E. granulosus using NADH dehydrogenase sub-unit 1 gene (NADH1) as a target molecular marker. Structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data for risk factor identification. Study sub-counties were selected by simple random sampling. Overall apparent prevalence of taeniid infection in dogs of 14.9 % (39/261, confidence interval 10.6–19.2) in both districts was recorded using the faecal floatation test. The sensitivity of the faecal floatation test was found to be 78 % (25/32), while the specificity was 93 % (215/229). Copro-PCR results revealed a true prevalence of 14.4 % (9.91–19.0, 95 % CI) in dogs in Moroto district and 7.4 % (2.14–12.60, 95 % CI) in Bukedea district. The overall true prevalence of cystic echinococcosis (CE) was 12.2 % (8.70–15.76, 95 % CI) in both districts. The major risk factors identified using logistic regression were uncontrolled access of dogs to animal slaughter facilities, higher cattle herd sizes and lack of knowledge about the disease. It was recommended that restricting dog access to infected tissues and public health education about epidemiology of CE should be done.
KeywordsEchinococcosis granulosus Prevalence Risk factors Dogs
We are grateful to the German Research Council (DFG) for funding this study through Cystic Echinococcosis in sub-Sahara Africa Research Initiative (CESSARi) project. Special thanks to Prof. Peter Kern (University of Ulm, Germany), Dr. Thomas Romig and Marion Wassermann of University of Hoheinheim, Germany for their technical input. We highly appreciate the assistance from District Veterinary Officers and the owners of the dogs who accepted to participate in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Statement of animal rights
All applicable international, national and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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