Seroprevalence of Porcine Cysticercosis and Associated Risk Factors in Pigs Slaughtered in Abattoirs in Thika, Kiambu County, Kenya
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Taenia solium is an important food-borne pathogen worldwide and is emerging as a serious public health risk in both rural and urban communities where pigs are raised and consumed. Adult tapeworms are found in the intestines of humans while the developmental larval forms occur in the muscles and organs constituting cysticercosis of pigs and humans. Cysticercosis has a worldwide distribution, mainly related to poor hygiene and sanitation and consumption of infected pork. Pigs get infected through consumption of food and contaminated with human faeces containg eggs. In recent years pork consumption has increased with the opening up of pork eating centres. Porcine cysticercosis has previously been reported in Kenya, however, there are scarce data on the occurrence of the disease, as well as on the risk factors for transmission, in key production and consumption areas including Thika. The purpose of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of porcine cysticercosis in slaughtered pigs and associated risk factors for occurrence of the disease in selected abattoirs in Thika. Systematic random sampling was used to select a total of 276 pigs. The source of the slaughter pigs was derived from the movement permits, the breed, sex and estimation of age was done at ante mortem examination. The slaughter and meat inspection processes were carried out by the slaughter house personnel and the investigators only observed and received the outcome of the inspection. Blood samples were collected from each identified pig at slaughter, processed and analyzed using purified Taenia solium antigen ELISA commercial kit. The results meat inspection showed that none of the pigs in this study had any visible cysts whereas 4.35% of the pigs were seropositive which poses public health risk.