BLASTOCYSTIS INFECTION AMONG BACKYARD-RAISED PIGS IN BAY, PROVINCE OF LAGUNA, THE PHILIPPINESCHRISTIAN PAUL P. DE LA CRUZ, MITCHEL M. GOROSPE AND VACHEL GAY V. PALLER
A cross-sectional survey aimed at providing data on determining the occurrence and risk factors associated with Blastocystis infection among backyard-raised pigs from selected villages in the Municipality of Bay, Philippines was carried out. Fresh fecal samples were collected froma total of 122 pigs and these were processed via formalin-ether sedimentation and culture method to detect the presence of Blastocystis by optical microscopy. The overall prevalence in pigs was 38.5%. The prevalence was found to be significantly higher (×2= 9.198; P<0.01) in weaning pigs (60%) than growers (33%) and breeders (26%), and in female pigsless than males (46% vs. 29%; ×2= 6.453; P<0.01). Univariate logistics regression showed significant associations between the likelihood of Blastocystis infection and handlers age, animal sex, and animal agegrouping (P<0.05). Subsequent multivariate logit analysis has confirmed animal age (OR=3.68) and animal sex (OR=5.76) as significant unique predictors of blastocystosis in pigs (P<0.01). In conclusion, Blastocystis is a ubiquitous entericparasite that frequently infects/ colonizes backyard-raised pigs with weaning pigs and sows being the more susceptible groups. High stocking density also increases the chance of Blastocystis occurrence in backyardswine farms. Analysis of genetic diversity using molecular techniques is recommended to identify the different subtypes.
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