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Intestinal helminths of stray dogs from Tunisia with special reference to zoonotic infections

  • Samia Lahmar (a1), Ines Arfa (a1), Siddik Ben Othmen (a1), Walid Jguirim (a1), Yousra Saïd (a1), Aïda Dhibi (a1) and Belgees Boufana (a2)...

Abstract

Sixteen intestinal helminth species were recovered from 271 necropsied stray dogs during a survey undertaken in Raoued and Soukra, two northeastern rural regions of Tunisia. Recorded parasites included trematodes (Brachylaemus sp., Phagicola italica, Heterophyes heterophyes), cestodes (Echinococcus granulosus, Dipylidium caninum, Diplopylidium noelleri, Mesocestoides lineatus, Mesocestoides litteratus, Taenia hydatigena, Taenia pisiformis, Taenia multiceps), nematodes (Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, Trichuris vulpis) and one acanthocephalan Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus. This is the first record of Brachylaemus sp., P. italica, H. heterophyes, D. noelleri and M. hirudinaceus in dogs from Tunisia. Echinococcus granulosus was found in 5·16% of dogs with a higher intensity of infection recorded in younger animals (303 worms/infected dog). Molecular analysis confirmed E. granulosus sensu stricto as the cause of canine echinococcosis. This epidemiological study investigating the status of intestinal helminths of dogs recorded a prevalence of 98·89% and a mean intensity of 87·62 worms per infected dog and confirmed the infection of 95·14% of dogs with helminths of potential zoonotic concern. Results of this study emphasize the need to interrupt parasite transmission using preventive approaches in zoonoses control programmes mainly against cystic echinococcosis, as well as reducing transmission to other animals by regular dog dosing treatments and proper management of dog populations.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: S. Lahmar, E-mail: drlsamia@yahoo.fr

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