Background: Echinococcus granulosus is one of the most important zoonotic parasites having worldwide distribution. The major purpose of this study was to determine prevalence, fertility, and viability rates of Hydatid Cysts (HCs) in surgical patients and slaughtered small ruminants in Ahvaz, Iran.
Methods: Liver and lungs of the slaughtered sheep (n=1402) and goats (n=3251) in Ahvaz, Iran were inspected to find HC. Also, sampling was carried out from surgical patients in Golestan Hospital of Ahvaz. Fertility and viability of cysts were determined based on the standard protocols. Data were statistically analyzed by SPSS software. Results: Totally, 94 (6.7%) sheep and 83 (2.5%) goats were infected with HC. Also, the younger than 1 year old animals showed less infection rate than older animals (p˂0.05). The number of fertile cyst among total 1402 sheep and 3251 goats slaughtered in Ahvaz were 81 and 33, respectively; whereas, the viable protoscoleces number pertaining to the fertile cysts for sheep and goats were 61 and 9, respectively. Five cases of infected human patients were recorded during the study period which their cysts were isolated from liver. Conclusion: It seems to need more efforts to control echinococcosis in Ahvaz, Southwest of Iran by raising the public awareness. Also, hygienic disposal of the infected organs (especially liver and lungs) with HC would be effective.