Written Paper

A Preliminary Survey of Bovine Fascioliasis in Ethiopia.  [1979]

Bahru Gemechu and Ephraim Mamo(Veterinarians) Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences [Corporate Author]

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A survey of the occurrence of Fasciola eggs (liver fluke) in bovine stool samples has been made in eight administrative regions of Ethiopia. Approximately 8,500 samples have been collected and examined. The results indicate that of the eight surveyed administrative regions, Kaffa showed the highest incidence with a mean figure of 86% followed closely by Illubabor with a mean figure of 70%. The lowest incidence was recorded is Sidamo where the mean incidence was 42%. In t he areas surveyed, the mean incidence for all eight administrative regions was 61%. A rough estimate of the economic burden to the nation as a result of infection of cattle by this parasite has also been made. Using some common animal production base data and the effect of parasitosis, it was estimated that due to Fasciola spp. infection of cattle, an annual loss of 359 million birr is incurred through decreased productivity alone. The incidence of Fascioliasis in Ethiopian domestic livestock is known to be relatively high. Generally speaking, however, few attempts have been made to study the incidences of this parasite in the various sections of the country with the specific aim of determining parasite burdens especially, in relation to months of the year, rainfall, temperature, altitude, and other relevant factors. The importance of such information in planning the strategy of control programs and also estimating the economic burden to the country as a result of this parasite cannot b
e over emphasized. A very useful piece of information which could reflect the incidences in slaughter age groups of cattle is that compiled by the various export abattoirs through the coordination of the former Livestock and Meat Board. According to this information, using figures from seven export abattoirs in 1972, the number of condemned livers due to Fascioliasis ranged from 8% (Kombolcha) to 94% (Gondar). In these abattoirs, a total of 31,000 livers were condemned during the year. In 1973, the picture was similar. The percentage of affected livers ranged from 7% (Kombolcha) to 94% (Gondar), with a total of 61,000 livers condemned (4). These direct losses reflect the situation in only a few areas of the country and it also does not include the hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats slaughtered every year. It is also obvious that the indirect losses from liver flukes alone or in combination with other internal and external parasites (which is generally the case) by far outweighs the direct losses due to condemned livers. It is with the aim of finally being able to estimate the economic burden to the country that studies on epidemiology of parasites becomes extremely important.

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Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences