Domestic cats are a final host for some hepatic trematodes and cat meat is used for human consumption in several parts of Northern Vietnam. Since there is no tradition for commercial cat rearing in the area, cats are purchased alive from other areas as well, i.e. Southern Vietnam and neighboring countries and brought to slaughter houses. This uncontrolled trade in live cats could pose a risk for spread of various parasites including hepatic trematodes. Hence in this study, we investigated the infections by hepatic trematodes in cats from the slaughter houses. Cat livers were sampled from 12 slaughter houses. Clonorchis sinensis and Platynosomum fastosum were found in 14 of 78 necropsied cats of local origin while more than half of the non-local cats (170 of 318) were infected by C. sinensis, P. fastosum or Opisthorchis viverrini. The non-local cats had higher prevalence (odds ratio = 6.61, p<0.01, 95%CI: 2.34-19.41) and intensity of infection (count ratio = 6.47, p<0.01, 95% CI: 1.77-23.59) by C. sinensis than local cats. Prevalence of P. fastosum infection did not differ significantly between the 2 groups of cats. Opisthorchis viverrini was found at low prevalence (2.5%) in non-local cats. The presence of O. viverrini in cats sampled in Northern Vietnam and the high prevalence and intensity of infection in cats of non-local origin suggest that cats are transported over great distances and this poses a risk of spreading these trematodes.
The Journal of Parasitology – Allen Press
Published: Mar 9, 2018
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