A survey of sheep Dicrocoeliosis in Sulaymaniyah slaughterhouse, Northern Iraq in 2013-2014

Manuchar, SanAhmmed Arkan, Rashid, Najmaddin Hemn, Omer, Murad Hazhaow , Mahmood, Zana H. and Clegg, Simon (2021) A survey of sheep Dicrocoeliosis in Sulaymaniyah slaughterhouse, Northern Iraq in 2013-2014. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports . ISSN 2405-9390

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A survey of sheep Dicrocoeliosis in Sulaymaniyah slaughterhouse, Northern Iraq in 2013-2014
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Abstract

Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a helminth which lives in the bile ducts and gall bladder of mammalian definitive hosts. Dicrocoeliosis is thought to be endemic in some countries and it has an increasing prevalence in Northern Iraq, potentially due to increased importation of infected animals, particularly sheep, in high numbers from neighboring countries. The parasite’s ability to infect rodents, wild animals, livestock and humans means this parasite is of significant interest in veterinary and human medicine. While D. dendriticum causes relatively mild clinical disease in animals, infection leads to liver condemnation at slaughter and subsequent economic losses to farmers. In this study, the livers of 91,486 sheep slaughtered at Sulaymaniyah New Slaughterhouse (Northern Iraq) were visually inspected for D. dendriticum infection between November 2013 and March 2014, with 1,269 livers rejected due to D. dendriticum in this period, representing 29.4% of all condemned livers. The highest rate of rejection due to D. dendriticum infection was seen in December, possibly linked to increased numbers of intermediate host snails during the wet season. Routine inspection of condemned livers revealed adult flukes of D. dendriticum and eggs were seen in the faeces of imported sheep, indicating these animals may be a vector for introduction of D. dendriticum to this region. Due to the complex life cycle and wide range of animals which it infects, we cannot establish the exact route of introduction into Iraq; however, our study suggests that slaughterhouse workers, farmers and local health authorities should be aware of the presence of D. dendriticum, and the potential risks it represents to both human and animal health. Our data also suggest that some level of quarantine or border checks may be useful to prevent further introduction of D. dendriticum or other pathogens into Iraq, although this may prove difficult until accurate diagnostic assays are developed.

Keywords:Dicrocoeliosis, Liver, Sheep, Iraq
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C522 Veterinary Microbiology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D320 Animal Health
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:44251
Deposited On:31 Mar 2021 08:58

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