BMC Veterinary Research (Jan 2019)

Prevalence of bovine fascioliasis and economic impact associated with liver condemnation in abattoirs in Mongu district of Zambia

  • Stanley S. Nyirenda,
  • Matthews Sakala,
  • Lennon Moonde,
  • Edgar Kayesa,
  • Paul Fandamu,
  • Fredrick Banda,
  • Yona Sinkala

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15, no. 1
pp. 1 – 8


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Abstract Background Fascioliasis is a trematode zoonotic snail-borne disease of public health and economic importance. The disease causes liver damage and is hardly recognized by medical personnel hence, is rarely considered as the differential diagnosis. In animals, the disease leads to mortalities, growth retardation, drop in livestock production and condemnation of the infected livers during meat inspection. The cross-sectional study was conducted from 2013 to 2017 in abattoirs in Mongu district, Western province of Zambia. Each selected carcass was examined macroscopically for bovine fascioliasis by dissecting the liver and checking for adult liver flukes. Infested and condemned livers were weighed and incinerated. Results A total of 69,152 carcasses with their livers was examined at the abattoirs for adult Fasciola worms and 44,511 (64.4%) were positive. According to the intensity of pathological lesions, 55.3% constituted severely affected livers, 30.3% were moderately affected livers and 14.4% were lightly affected livers. Our observation revealed that the most prevalent liver fluke identified was Fasciola gigantica (56.1%) and it mostly affected the poor body conditioned animals (71.4%). The study also indicated that 164,600 kg liver was condemned and destroyed. This reduced the income base for small-scale livestock farmers to about ZMW 7,407,000.00, which was equivalent to 592,560 USD. Conclusion In conclusion, our study suggests that the prevalence of bovine fascioliasis was high resulting in a large amount of liver being condemned and destroyed, leading to economic losses for affected livestock farmers in the area. Consequently, there is a need to take the necessary measures to control the disease and create awareness among medical personnel to consider it as a differential diagnosis in all functional liver deficiencies due to the zoonotic nature of the disease.