Bovine cysticercosis caused by Taenia saginata is a zoonotic disease affirming routine inspection measures for the postmortem detection of cysticerci (cysts) in beef destined for human consumption. Detection is based on gross examination of traditional carcase predilection sites; although there is evidence to suggest that examination of other sites may offer improvements in sensitivity. In the current study, a biomolecular-based assay was employed to confirm and differentiate T saginata cysticercosis from other comparable parasitic infection in cattle carcases. Out of 7371 cattle carcases routinely inspected, 72 (0.97 per cent) were initially detected, from which 57 (79.16 per cent), 11(15.27 per cent) and 4 (5.55 per cent) were recorded in masseter muscle, heart and diaphragm, respectively. The PCR assay was also conducted to confirm different stages of the cysts, being able to detect the cyst, and to discriminate its various degenerative stages with other parasitic structures. The technique was proposed as a reliable tool to differentiate the cysticerci and, thus, could be used in further epidemiological studies as there was no difference in view of negative PCR results in lesions found by routine inspection.
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