University of Khartoum

Role of Domestic and Wild Animals in Transmission of Human Schistosomiasis

Role of Domestic and Wild Animals in Transmission of Human Schistosomiasis

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Title: Role of Domestic and Wild Animals in Transmission of Human Schistosomiasis
Author: Karoum, Khalid Omer Ahmed Karoum
Abstract: Human schistosomiasis caused by S. mansoni and S. haematobium constitutes a serious public health problem in the Sudan. The existence of different domestic and wild animal species in human schistosomiasis endemic area like the Gezira Irrigation scheme may play an epidemiological role in the spread of the disease. A part from a schistosomiasis research project already in existence, a programme had been designed to investigate the possible role of such animals in transmission of human schistosomiasis. The field investigation herein reported was carried out on the Nile rats, dogs and slaughtered animals including cattle, sheep and goats. 4.9% of the Nile rats examined were found naturally infected with S. mansoni. Some infected rats passed viable S. mansoni eggs which hatched giving freely swimming miracidia. In the slaughtered cattle, two young bulls, Gezira-bred, were found naturally infected with S. mansoni. No S. mansoni eggs were detected in their faeces nor in their tissues but in some of the adult female schistosomes typical S. mansoni ova were seen in the uteri under microscope. Examination of dogs in the study area showed that 27.3 % of the dogs were naturally infected with S. mansoni. No S. mansoni eggs were detected in the faeces. However, tissue egg counts recorded variable numbers of ova reaching up to 1032 eggs/gm in the large intestine. Experimental infection of puppies with cercariae of S. mansoni was carried out. Faecal examination did not reveal S. mansoni ova. At autopsy no worms were recovered and no S. mansoni eggs were revealed in the tissues of the puppies. It is concluded from the field and laboratory investigations that the Nile rats seem to be true reservoir hosts for S. mansoni whereas dogs are unlikely to play an important role in the transmission of S. mansoni in the Gezira irrigation scheme. Natural infection of cattle with S. mansoni may be an indication of the significance of cattle in transmission of S. mansoni but further studies to assess the role of cattle, sheep and goats are needed with special emphasis on the animals existing in schistosomiasis endemic areas other than those coming from disease free areas. In view of the positive finding in the Nile rats, it may be wise to recommend that an anti-rat campaign should be incorporated as part of schistosomiasis control strategy.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/14383
Date: 2015-06-23


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