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2006, Vol 1 No 1, Article 1


Prevalence of Echinococcosis in Buffaloes


N. A. Khan1 and S. K. Purohit
Department of Medicine, College of Veterinary & Animal Science
Rajasthan Agriculture University Bikaner

1Department of Animal Husbandry, Kashmir





A study on the prevalence of echinococcosis was conducted by examining carcasses at a slaughter house over a period of nine month. It was observed that echinococcosis occurred  with an  over all prevalence of 34.5% in buffaloes with an infection rate of 40.9%in males & 44.1% in females. In adult buffaloes (above 2 years) the prevalence of hydatid disease was recoded as 43.6% against 11.1% of buffalo of below 2 years.





The disease echinococcosis is caused by the parasite Echinococcus granulosus. The adult tapeworm is found in small intestine of dog. A wide range of mammals, including sheep, cattle, pig, buffalo, goat, camel, horse & man can act as the intermediate hosts (,Khan et. al., 1990; Mandke & Sauzgiri, 1991; Amrss et. al., 1994 and Sharma & Roy 1998).The canine population accumulates infection by consuming cysts from the meat of the herbivorous intermediate hosts.
In animals echinococcosis has been reported as one of the main health hazards all over the world, apart from the economic damage to livestock industry it poses a serious zoonotic threat.




A total of 200 buffaloes were examined for the presence or absence of hydatid cysts at zoo slaughter house of Bikaner city from August 1995 to April 1996 adopting the standard procedures described by Pandey(1970). The dressed carcasses were examined by visual palpation and incision of organs. The affected organs containing hydatid cysts were dispatched to laboratory as per standard procedures and maintained at 4C till further examination. After removing the fluids & sediments, the cyst was cut open and the walls were scrapped. The membranous material was passed between two glass slides and examined microscopically. The cysts displaying laminated membranes, scoleces or hooklets were identified as hydatid.




The  examination revealed an overall prevalence of hydatud cysts at 34.5% with infection rate of 11.1% in buffaloes below 2 years age & 43.6% in adults above 2 years of age. Among adults the prevalence was higher in females (44.1%) as compared to males (40.9%) (Table1). These findings fall in line with reports of Gill & Rao (1967), Abraham & Iyer (1980) and Hussain et al (1992). The increase in incidence of disease with advance in age of animal was observed during the present investigations and it may be attributed to a greater opportunity for infestation & development of cyst in animal rather than any influence of age. A higher incidence in the females may again be correlated to the higher age that females are slaughtered at owing to their utilization for reproductive purposes. In contrast males are slaughtered at a younger age. Similar argument has been recorded by Gemmel (1961).




Table 1: Showing prevalence of echinococcosis in buffalos according to sex & age



Male (a)

Female (b)

Adults (a+b)


Total no. of animals examined






Total no. of

Positive animals






Prevalence (%)









  1. Abraham, J; Pilail, KM & Iyer, RP(1980) Kerala J. Vet. Sci. 11(2):247-251

  2. Amrss,  Amr Zs; Jiawi, S; Anand, H(1994) Annals of Trop. Med. Parasitol. 88(6):623-727

  3. Gemmel, MA (1961) Australia Vet. J. 269-280

  4. Gill, HS & Rao BV(1967) Incidence & fertility rate of Hydatid Cyst in Indian buffalo

  5. Hussain, A; Maqbool, A; Hussain, S; Athar, M; Shakoor & Amin, MK(1992) J. Dairy Sci. (9):454-456

  6. Khan, SA; Hussain, I; Iqbal, M & Majid, AC(1990) Pakistan Vet. J 10(1):34-35

  7. Mandke, JV & Sazgiri,VP (1991) Hydatid Cyst of interarterial & interventicular septum of the heart. Chest 99(4):1020

  8. Pandey,VS (1970) Indian J. Ani. Sci, 41:596-599

  9. Sharma, S C & Roy, RC(1988) Neurosurgery 23(3): 374-376




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