Prevalence of Taenia solium porcine cysticercosis in the Eastern, Southern and Western provinces of Zambia
Phiri, Isaac K.
Sikasunge, Chummy S.
Phiri, Andrew M.
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Tongue examination and detection of circulating antigen (Ag-ELISA) were used to establish the prevalence of Taenia solium porcine cysticercosis in free-range pigs in selected districts of Eastern, Southern and Western provinces of Zambia, and to determine if prevalence of porcine cysticercosis was associated with age, breed and sex. Households with pigs were identified using the snowballing technique. A total of 1691 pigs were examined out of which 183 (10.8%) were positive on tongue examination. Ag-ELISA gave a sero-prevalence of 23.3%. When considering the factors in a logistic regression analysis, only breed type was significantly associated with porcine cysticercosis (OR = 0.72; 95%CI = 0.63–0.81). The crossbred pigs were 72% more likely to have had cysticercosis than the Nsenga (dwarf local) breed as determined by Ag-ELISA. The result that crossbred pigs had a higher prevalence of T. solium cysticercosis suggests that pig breeds may display different susceptibility to cysticercosis. The limited use of latrines in these areas implies that people use the nearby bush for defecation, resulting in pigs having access to human faeces. Therefore, investigation of taeniosis and cysticercosis in humans is warranted to better comprehend the local epidemiology and transmission risks. This should then be followed by extension programs to communities so that the control plans that could be instituted are more sustainable.