Cysticercus Bovis (Beef Measles) In Kenya

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Alfred G.
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Cysticercus bOl'is, commonly known as "'measles" in beef, was already known in biblical times as a condition encountered in the skeletal muscles of cattle, The etiology of this parasite, however, its life cycle, its relationship to T a!nia saginata~the beef tapeworm-and its pathogenicity to man were not discovered until the end of the 18th century. For the first time, in 1767, Linne described T a!nia saginata as a tapeworm living exclusively in the intestine of man. A hundred years later Klichenmeister was able to establish the relationship between Cysticercus bovis and Ta!nia saginata. The popular name "measles" is of unknown origin and must have come into being during the middle ages to explain a condition resembling a spotty eruption, especially so if the cysts are numerous. The choice of such a term was unfortunately not a happy one and during the centuries that followed the name caused more than one feud. Children suffering from measles or Rubeola, a bacterial and not a parasitic disease in human beings, were accused of having infected the poor ox which was condemned for "measles" when sold for slaughter to the butcher in town. But. however misleading the English popular name may be, the French, "Ladrerie" is more so as it was used in the olden days to describe leprosy. The Poles named it "blackheads" and the Germans "pimples". The scientific term is Cysticercus bovis derived from the Greek, Kysfis-bladder, and Kerko~~tail, hovis denoting the animal in which this bladderworm is living.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 20, p. 216-219