A Study on Pathological and Microbiological Conditions in Goats in Slaughterhouses in Jordan
Khaled M. Al-Qudah,
Ahmad M. Al-Majali
Mohammad M. Obaidat
During the period between January 2003 and May 2006, 1432 carcasses of
slaughtered goats were examined for the presence of any pathological condition
and their incidence. The most prevalent problems were gastrointestinal
parasitism (45%), caseous lymphadenitis (19%), Oestrus ovis (8.1%),
liver abscesses (19%), hydatid cysts (11%), mange due to Sarcoptes
sp. and Psoroptes sp. (28.5%) and accumulation of plastic foreign
bodies in the rumen (14.8%). Bacterial pneumonia were detected in (6.6%)
while verminous pneumonia in 4.7% of slaughtered goats. This study suggested
that internal parasitism is the most prevalent pathological condition
seen in goat slaughterhouses in Jordan despite the rigorous parasite control
practiced by farmers. Both caseous lymphadenitis and liver abscesses are
of major important conditions.
Abattoir, or slaughterhouse, surveillance has been an important component
of infectious diseases control and eradication programs worldwide. In
addition, slaughterhouse inspection is an extremely useful tool to monitor
disease incidence rates and to confirm diagnosis of suspected diseases.
As a member of the developing countries, Jordan suffers from many infectious
diseases that affect the small ruminant livestock. The most prevalent
of those infectious diseases are: brucellosis, foot and mouth disease,
peste des petite ruminants, enterotoxemia, caseous lymphadenitis and internal
parasitism. The epidemiology of some of those infectious diseases has
been studied in Jordan and risk factors associated with high prevalence
have been elucidated. However, all these studies concentrated on investigating
the seroprevalence on live animals which may not reflect the actual pathological
picture of diseases.
The most likely diseases to disrupt growth in small ruminants are pneumonia
(Ackermann and Brogdon, 2000), viral/bacterial enteritis and gastrointestinal
parasitism (Thomas et al., 2002). In some occasions, ruminants
are pushed on concentrate feeds, which increases the risk for rumen acidosis
(Van Metre et al., 2000), enterotoxaemia (Uzal et al.,
1998) and liver abscesses (Rosa et al., 1989; Al-Qudah and Al-Majali,
2003). Conditions which could cause condemnation of small ruminant carcasses
at slaughterhouses, such as caseous lymphadenitis, are very common in
Jordan (Al-Rawashdeh and Al-Qudah, 2000). Intramuscular injection of drugs
and vaccines causes some muscular inflammation and cellulitis (Radostitis
et al., 2000), which might lead to total or partial carcass condemnation.
Slaughterhouse inspection as a diagnostic tool for food animal diseases
can provide information on the efficacy of parasite control measures,
the presence of subclinical pneumonia, the efficacy of vaccination programs
and the occurrence of injection site abscesses, superficial and visceral
caseous lymphadenitis and hydatid disease.
Slaughterhouse surveys in Jordan are few and the published literature
concentrated entirely on parasitic diseases (Abo-Shehada and Abo-Farieha,
1994; Al-Yaman et al., 1985; Kamhawi et al., 1995; Abo-Shehada
et al., 2003; Maraqa et al., 2005). The objective of this
study is to provide more detailed information about the endemic goat diseases
seen in main slaughterhouses in Jordan.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Four major slaughterhouses in Jordan were visited during the period between
January 2003 and May 2006. A total of 1432 carcasses of goats were examined.
Data were collected on the pathological conditions found in slaughtered
goats. Ages of these slaughtered goats ranged from 10 months to 9 years,
1131 (79%) males and 301 (21%) females. The post-mortem examination was
done by visual observation of all exposed surfaces and palpation of the
superficial inguinal, precrural, prescapular, lumber, iliac and popliteal
lymph nods. In addition, a thorough examination for the abdominal and
thoracic organs was performed, including palpation of the lungs, heart,
liver and their related lymph nods. Incisions of affected organs (liver,
lung, intestine and lymph nodes) were done. The number and type of pathological
conditions observed during examination of carcasses were recorded. Specimens
from affected organs were collected and placed in sterile plastic containers
and shipped to the laboratory on ice for bacterial culturing. Identification
of aerobic and anaerobic bacterial isolates was done using standard procedures
(Lennette et al., 1985). Fecal samples and adult worms were also
submitted to laboratory for parasitic identification using the concentration
technique to concentrate worm eggs or larvae from the feces, which include
direct smear, flotation and fecal sedimentation. Parasites were identified
to the genus level according to standard procedures (Thienpoint et
al., 1986). Direct skin examination and scraping to identify psoroptic
and sarcoptic mange was performed using the digestion-concentration technique
by adding five per cent of potassium hydroxide and saturated sucrose solution
to recover mites that cause epidermal hyperplasia (Coles, 1986). Trichophyton
verrucosum as a cause of ringworm was diagnosed by direct microscopic
examination of hair and keratin using a 20% of potassium hydroxide (Scot,
1988). Mammary glands in slaughtered females (n = 301) were examined directly
and palpated to detect any physical changes in the udder.
A total of 416 (29%) goats were affected. Table 1 represents
the disease conditions and their incidence percentage. The most common
disease conditions were internal parasitism (Trichostrongylosis, Haemonchosis,
Dictyocaulus filarial, Echinococcosis, Coccidiosis). In about 67.6% of
the examined carcasses multiple parasite species were found.
Caseous lymphadenitis was detected in 19% of slaughtered goats. Oestrus
ovis was present in 8.1% of examined carcasses and liver abscesses
were detected in 19% of livers examined. Fusebacterium necrophorum,
Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli and Arcanobacterium
pyogenes were the major bacterial isolates from abnormal livers. Bacterial
pneumonia was detected in 6.6% of the examined goats. Among the most important
isolated bacteria from the pneumonic lungs were: Pasturella sp.
(n = 29), Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (n = 34), F. necrophorum
(n = 14), Staphylococcus sp. (n = 8), Clostridium sp. (n=
4), mixed bacterial infection (n = 23). Hydated cysts due to Echinococcus
granulosus were detected in 11% of the examined lung tissues. Mange
due to Sarcoptes scabiei was detected in 28.5% of the 43 goats
scraped; affected animals showed alopecia with some secondary bacterial
contamination. Plastic foreign bodies were seen in 14.8% of examined rumens.
Seventeen females (5.6%) suffered from different lesions in there mammary
glands such as hardness of the udder due to fibrosis resulted from chronic
mastitis. Staphylococcal impetigo was seen in 5 cases as a numerous pustules
on teats and udder. Other diseases observed included, arthritis, pink
eye, goiter, foot rot, orchitis and papillomatosis. Out of the 203 organs
infected with different disease conditions, 80.7% whole organs were condemned
while 19.3% portions were salvaged. Four whole carcasses were condemned
because of generalized caseous lymphadenitis. The results of bacterial
cultures and parasite examination are shown in Table 2
and 3, respectively
||Disease conditions observed in (1432) slaughtered goats
|*: Percentage calculated out of (43) the scraped suspected
cases. Twelve animals were confirmed, 9 cases of Sarcoptic sp.
and 3 cases of Psoroptes sp.
||Bacteria cultured from condemned organs of slaughtered
goats in Jordan
||Parasites identified from condemned
organs of slaughtered goats in Jordan
The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites reported
in this study was higher than that observed by Abo-Shehada and Abo-Farieha
(1994) and markedly different from those reported in Greece (Theodoropoulous
et al., 2002). Similar species of gastrointestinal parasites have
been reported in Egypt (Michael et al., 1979), Turkey (Umur and
Yukari, 2005), Iraq (Altaif, 1979) and Saudi Arabia (El-Azazy, 1995).
Previous reported suggested that presence of gastrointestinal parasites
and the body condition of slaughtered animals were very much correlated
(Altaif, 1979; El-Azazy, 1995).
High prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis was reported in this study.
Similar findings were reported in sheep based on serological investigation
(Al-Rawashdeh and Al-Qudah, 2000). The majority of lesions were confined
to superficial lymph nodes. Lesions in internal lymph nodes were seen
only in 5% of the examined cases, which agrees with previous studies (Hein
and Cargill, 1981). Few cases of infected goats were severely emaciated
with ruptured abscessed lymph nodes mainly located in the neck and shoulder
Pneumonic lesions were detected in cold season during December to early
March; these lesions were variable in the extent but mostly were multifocal
in distribution involving both lungs. Pulmonary hydatid cyst involvement
was seen in 11% of examined goats, these results are higher than what
has been previously reported (Al-Yaman et al., 1985; Kamhawi et
al., 1995). Several cases of pulmonary congestion, emphysema and atelectasis
were also seen. Verminous pneumonia was detected (n = 68) in goats, where
the Dictyocaulus filaria lungworms occluded the air passages of
the affected animals. A previous study in Jordan showed that 3.8% of slaughtered
local sheep were affected with Dictyocaulus filarial (Maraqa et
al., 2005). In this study, the incidence of Dictyocaulus filarial
was slightly higher (4.7%). However, Dhar and Sharma (1987), believes
that goats are more susceptible to lung worm infestation than sheep.
The main risk factor that has been associated with the high prevalence
of liver abscesses in ruminants is grain overload, which is a very common
problem in Jordan due to lack of pasture (Al-Qudah and Al-Majali, 2003).
The grain overload will causes steep reduction in the rumen pH leading
to ruminal acidosis and atony and damage to the rumen wall which will
allow some of ruminal bacteria to reach the portal vein and eventually
to the liver causing abscesses (Radostitis et al., 2000). This
study shows higher incidence rate of liver abscessation compared to what
have been reported in other Middle Eastern countries (Johnson et al.,
1999; Tadayon et al., 1980). It is clear that lack of pasture due
to lack of water is behind the high prevalence of liver abscesses, since
grain feeding is more practice in Jordan to compensate the lack of green
Presence of foreign bodies in the rumen, especially plastic, had been
investigated previously in Jordan and the incidence rate was reported
to be 11% (Hailat et al., 1998). Rations with low minerals and
vitamins are believed to be correlated with presence of plastic forging
bodies in the rumen (Hailat et al., 1998).
The prevalence of Oestrus ovis infestation in Jordan was lower
(8.1%) in our study than what has been reported previously (Abo-Shehada
et al., 2003).
Cellulites and muscular abscesses resulted from intramuscular injections
of drugs were reported in 3.6% (n = 51) slaughtered goats indicating poor
management. Subcutaneous injection is preferred to avoid the occurrence
of injection site abscesses (Smith and Sherman, 1994).
Two bucks with swelling of the testes were tested for brucellosis using
rapid slide agglutination test and were found positive. The epidemiology
of brucellosis in goats in Jordan was studied by Al-Majali (2005) and
the prevalence was found to be 27.7%. Regular screening of bucks for brucellosis
is a crucial step in any successful Brucella control program.
Foot rot was diagnosed in (1.2%) of slaughtered goats, it appears as
interdigital necrosis and longitudinal fissures with some purulent foul-smiling
discharges. It is well known that Bacteroides nodosus is responsible
for this disease (Claxton and O`Grady, 1986).
Eimeria sp. was detected in goats with signs of congestion and
hemorrhage by examining their feces for the presence of oocyst. Several
Eimeria sp. were identified in Jordan including E. arloingi,
E. ninakohalyakimovae and E. christenseni (Abo-Shehada et
It is worth mentioning that few of the disease findings are diseases
that have zoonotic implications such as brucellosis. Brucella present
danger, not only to consumers, but also to slaughterhouse workers (Al-Majali,
2005). Other zoonotic potentials are carcasses and organs contaminated
with foodborne pathogens, such as Escherchia coli. Typing
and characterization of such bacteria is essential to determine the risk
presented to meat consumers.
In conclusion, results of this study shed lights on the most important
slaughterhouse disease findings in Jordan. In addition, the findings of
this study should be used during the yearly evaluation of the country
disease control strategies.
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