Epidemiological analysis of the New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in Ecuador.
The New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) is an obligate parasite that affects warm-blooded animals. It causes myiasis in livestock and humans, which is a problem for animal production and public health. The health and economic burden of myiasis on livestock production is largely unknown in Ecuador. We investigated the presence of the screwworm and analysed the epidemiology and spatial and temporal trends of myiasis in cattle farms of San Miguel de Los Bancos county. In total, epidemiological questionnaires were conducted in 110 farms, which were subsequently monitored for 12 months. The findings show that the initial and final prevalences in farms were 70% and 61.81%, respectively, and the average monthly prevalence was 15.08%. The initial and final prevalences in animals were 3.87% and 4.60% for bovines and 2.91% and 3.36% for all animals examined. The average percentage of new cases reported per month was 17.68% with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 28 cases in October and May 2015, respectively. The cumulative incidence estimated that the risk for non-infested farms to become infested could reach 100% in approximately 6 months. The incidence rate is 168 per 1,000 farms at risk-monthly. The annual incidence was 459 per 10,000 for bovines at risk-annually. An analysis of hotspots based on the Getis-Ord Gi* index revealed no temporally stable hot spot, but one temporally stable cold spot, suggesting that most of the study area is generally favourable to infestation, except one cluster of farms.