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Type Journal Article - Veterinary Parasitology
Title Prevalence of porcine cysticercosis and associated risk factors in smallholder pig production systems in Mbeya region, southern highlands of Tanzania
Volume 198
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 284-291
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304401713005141
Porcine cysticercosis (PC) caused by the larval stage of a zoonotic tapeworm Taenia solium,
is known to pose serious economic losses and public health risk among smallholder pig
production communities. The present study was conducted to determine prevalence and
associated risk factors for PC in smallholder pig production systems in Mbeya region,
the major pig rearing region of Tanzania. A cross-sectional survey employing a random
sample of 300 pig keepers from 30 villages of Mbozi and Mbeya Rural districts, Mbeya
region were used to evaluate pig production systems and practices. Concurrently, 600 male
and female pigs of different age categories were randomly selected and examined for PC
using lingual examination method and antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (AgELISA).
The overall pig level PC prevalence in Mbozi district was 11.7% (95% CI = 8.5–15.8%)
and 32% (95% CI: 27–37.5%) based on lingual examination and Ag-ELISA, respectively.
In Mbeya Rural district, the prevalences were 6% (95% CI: 3.8–9.3%) and 30.7% (95% CI:
25.8–36.1%) by lingual examination and Ag-ELISA, respectively. In Mbozi district 46% of
the households were found infected (one or more infected pigs) and the corresponding
figure was 45% for Mbeya Rural district. The agreement between lingual examination and
Ag-ELISA was poor ( < 0.40). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of
PC in different sex categories of pigs. Significant risk factors associated with PC prevalence
were free roaming of pigs (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.3–3.6; p = 0.006), past experience of
porcine cysticercosis in the household (OR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.5–4.8; p = 0.002), increased age
of pig (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.2–3.0), slatted raised floor in pig pen (OR = 8.4; 95% CI = 1.0–70.0),
in-house origin of the pig (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.1–2.5) and sourcing of water from rivers
(OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.6–6.3; p < 0.001) and ponds (OR = 5.0; 95% CI = 1.2–21.7; p = 0.031). This
study has clearly revealed a high sero-prevalence of PC in the study area, which imposes a
major economical and public health burden to the smallholder pig farmers. The study also
points to a number of important risk factors in smallholder pig management that may be
addressed (e.g. confinement, quality of pens and water sources) in future interventions and
educational campaigns for control of T. solium.

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