Prevalence and Potential Risk Factors of Human Cystic Echinococcosis in Selected Districts of South Omo Zone, Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a cestode parasitic zoonosis caused by the larval stage of various species of the genus Echinococcus and/or the strains of Echinococcus granulosus. This study was aimed to determine the current status and public health importance of cystic echinococcosis (CE) in the pastoralist areas of South Omo Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. Prior to the commencement of the study institutional and national ethical approvals were obtained. Ultrasound survey was conducted on 2838 consenting study participants in Hamer, Nyangatom and Dassenech Districts of South Omo Zone. 311 were randomly selected for interview to assess their awareness and attitude about the disease and the practices that may be related to the transmission of the disease. Among the study participants, 56 (2.0%) were found infected with CE on US. Human CE was more prevalent (3.3%) in Hamer District. Liver was the most affected organ and CE1 stages showed high frequency (23 cases). Increased CE1 prevalence was abserved as the age increased. The questionnaire survey indicated that most respondents had never heard of CE; had large number livestock and dogs; practiced home slaughtering; did not dispose infected offal properly; and had a wrong perception about the infection. The level of awareness and the attitude of the community about CE was very low and wrong. Sharing of water sources with animals was a potential risk factor, which was found to have significant association with CE infection. 1338 slaughtered cattle were inspected at Jinka and Arba Minch Abattoirs to estimate the distribution of CE among livestock of the pastoralist in the study area. Slaughter house survey was conducted on 4312 small ruminants at HELMEX Export Abattoir plc, meat processing center for export in Bishoftu town, Oromia Region. Cysts were excised from liver and lungs of the animals and examined. Size, number and vital status of the cysts were determined. 75 (61 from Arba Minch and 14 from Jinka) out of 1338 cattle were found infected and lung infection was more common. 23 (7 from Babile and 16 from Borena) out of 4312 small ruminants were also found positive for CE during abattoir inspection. Molecular characterization of cysts from cattle and small ruminants showed that the causative agent was predominantly G1 strain of E.granulosus. However, the cyst excised from the lower leg muscle of one human study participant was characterized and found to be a novel strain and given a provisional name, GOmo. GOmo is a new strain discovered in the study area and definite elucidation of its life cycle awaits further research. Thus, the study showed that CE is common in humans and animals in the pastoralist community of the study districts, Hamer, Nyangatom and Dassenech. Further epidemiological and molecular studies are recommended for a further in depth elucidation of the intensity of infection in the human population and to establish the life cycle of the GO



Cystic Echinococcosis, Echinococcus Granulosus Ss, Gomo, South Omo, Ethiopia