Prevalence of Group A Rotavirus in Piglets in a Peri-Urban Setting of Arusha, Tanzania
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Aims: Rotavirus-associated enteritis is a major problem in livestock, notably in young piglets and calves, and is also a zoonosis. It is also associated with diarrhoea mainly in children less than five years of age. In Tanzania however, no study has addressed Rotavirus in livestock species. Following our previous report on Rotavirus infection in children within urban and peri-urban Arusha, we sought to understand the disease situation in livestock in the same area. Study Design: Place and Duration of Study: In this study, we investigated the prevalence of Rotavirus in pigs of suckling, weaning and post weaning/grazing/fattening age categories in Lemara, Moshono and Sokoni I areas of Arusha peri-urban. Methodology: Molecular detection of Rotavirus in stool samples was done using conventional PCR with primers targeting Group A Rotavirus (GARV). Using a standardized questionnaire, we sought to find out risk factors associated with positive cases of Rotavirus including age, sex, location, diarrhoea status, recent diarrhoea case in the farm, breed, type of grazing system and type of feeding of individual pigs. Results: Out of a total of 110 pigs sampled (fecal samples), 41.8% were positive for Rotavirus. Chi Square’s (χ2) Fisher’s Exact Test was used to relate PCR test results with various possible risk factors. Recent diarrhoea case in the farm was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with Rotavirus infection in pigs indicating the possible role of cross-infection within farm and also the environmental resistance and persistence of the virus in the farm. Conclusions: This was the first study to report on Rotavirus infection in pigs in Tanzania. The information obtained should form the platform for further studies to address the molecular epidemiology and relatedness of Rotavirus from human and porcine positive cases.