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The occurrence of zoonotic parasites in rural dog populations from northern Portugal

  • A.S. Cardoso (a1), I.M.H. Costa (a1), C. Figueiredo (a2), A. Castro (a3) and M.A.P. Conceição (a1)...
Abstract

A survey of intestinal parasites in dogs was carried out in a rural region around Cantanhede, in northern Portugal, where 301 dog faecal samples were collected from small-ruminant farms. Saturated salt flotation and formol–ether sedimentation techniques were used. An enquiry was conducted in 234 farms and a risk factor evaluation for zoonotic helminths was determined among the 195 farmers who owned dogs. The overall parasite prevalence in faecal samples of dogs was 58.8%, with specific prevalences for Ancylostomidae being 40.9% followed by species of Trichuris (29.9%), Toxocara (8%), Isospora (4%), Capillaria (0.7%) and Spirometra (0.3%). Taeniidae eggs were present in five samples (1.7%) which were analysed with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique and revealed to be from Taenia sp., and not Echinococcusgranulosus. This rural region has a traditional small-farm system, in which farm products are mainly for in-house consumption and home slaughtering is a current practice (57%). Analysis showed home slaughtering to be a statistically significant risk factor for the presence of Ancylostomidae (P= 0.007) and Toxocara sp. (P= 0.049). Owning cattle was found to be a significant risk factor for Taenia sp. (P= 0.031).

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*Fax: +35, 12398, 02979 E-mail: toinha@esac.pt
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