Echinococcus granulosus in northern Queensland 1. Prevalence in cattle

Banks, D.J.D., Copeman, D.B., Skerratt, L.F., and Molina, E.C. (2006) Echinococcus granulosus in northern Queensland 1. Prevalence in cattle. Australian Veterinary Journal, 84 (9). pp. 303-307.

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence and geographical distribution of hydatidosis and investigate factors that might be expected to influence the prevalence of hydatids in cattle in Queensland north of the Tropic of Capricorn. To determine the effect of natural levels of infection on carcase weight and subsequent economic loss.

Procedure: An abattoir survey conducted in 1981 provided information on the distribution, prevalence and viability of hydatid cysts in cattle from all shires north of the Tropic of Capricorn in Queensland.

Livers, lungs and spleens from 10,382 cattle were palpated at abattoirs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton to detect hydatid cysts. Prevalence of infection in cattle in each shire was estimated from results of the abattoir study together with reports of infection in a further 22,185 cattle obtained from abattoir records. Linear modelling was used to define the effect of geographical origin, age, breed and sex on prevalence of infection. Differences in the weights of carcases between infected and non-infected cattle of the same age, sex, breed and property of origin were examined. The economic loss to the beef industry in the region surveyed was estimated.

Results: Cattle infected with hydatids originated almost entirely from regions to the east of the Great Dividing Range. The mean prevalence inside this zone was 28% compared with 3% in other areas. Viable protoscoleces were found in 0.7% of cysts. Geographical origin and age of the cattle were the most significant factors influencing prevalence. Infection with hydatids had no effect on carcase weight. Economic loss was limited to that associated with condemnations of organs at meat inspection, estimated to be $0.5 million per annum in 1981 and $6 million in 2004. The distribution of hydatids in Queensland north of the Tropic of Capricorn corresponded most closely with the distribution of small wallabies such as Macropus dorsalis (black-striped wallaby), M parryi (whiptail wallaby) and M rufogriseus (red-necked wallaby).

Conclusions: It was concluded that cattle are not an important part of maintaining the life-cycle of E granulosus in Queensland north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Within the endemic zone, which is almost all to the east of the Great Dividing Range, the local pattern of bovine echinococcosis is most likely to be determined by the presence or absence of small species of wallaby such as M dorsalis, M parryi and M rufogriseus.

Item ID: 3721
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: hydatidosis; cattle; Echinococcus granulosus; prevalence; infection
ISSN: 1751-0813
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 05:42
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070708 Veterinary Parasitology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 7
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