Exploratory Investigation on the Occurrence, Spatial Distribution, and Risk Factors of Selected Zoonotic Enteropathogens in Davao City Backyard Farms

  • Lyre Anni E. Murao University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Aleyla E. De Cadiz University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Yrneh St. Louis Ladera University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Kenneth P. Montajes University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Maria Catherine B. Otero University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Pierre Giuseppe Gilles University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Nilo B. Oponda University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • Faith T. Lagat St. Luke's Medical Center
  • Pedro A. Alviola, IV University of the Philippines Mindanao


The swine industry is the second largest economic contributor to Philippine agriculture and is dominated by backyard farms, which are plagued by outdated management practices and poor animal health support that promote the spread of pathogens. Zoonotic enteropathogens pose a public health threat, especially to backyard farmers who have daily close contact with the infected animals and their waste. Hence, there is a need to survey such pathogens. This exploratory study generated baseline information on enteropathogen occurrence in backyard farms of Davao City, Philippines; the spatial distribution of affected farms; and the risk factors for enteropathogen occurrence. Protozoans such as Blastocystis sp., Balantidium coli, Entamoeba sp., Iodamoeba sp., Giardia sp., and coccidia, while helminths such as hookworm and strongylids were identified by direct wet smear. Rotavirus A was detected by reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction. Almost 73% of the farms harbored enteropathogens with mostly asymptomatic infections, and weaners and growers are major carriers. Geospatial analysis identified Barangay Bato in Toril District as a hotspot for the pathogens. Probit regression analysis revealed that use of treatments increased the likelihood of pathogen occurrence by 24%, possibly due to misapplication of medications such as anthelmintics. On the other hand, there was 40% reduced likelihood for farms that use traditional feeds, which can promote gut immunity. Therefore, high-fiber diet can be explored for broad-spectrum protection against enteropathogens. Promoting awareness on the benefits of traditional feeds and education on the proper use of medication are also recommended, especially for vulnerable farms in hotspot areas.

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