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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9050-9067; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909050

Multiple Zoonotic Parasites Identified in Dog Feces Collected in Ponte de Lima, Portugal—A Potential Threat to Human Health

1
Veterinary Medicine Department, Vasco da Gama University School, Av. José R. Sousa Fernandes, Campus Universitário—Bloco B, Lordemão, 3020-210 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Animal and Veterinary Research Centre, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Quinta dos Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3
Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
4
EpiUnit, Epidemiology Research Unit, Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto, Rua das Taipas, nº 135, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal
5
ICETA/CECA, University of Porto, Public Health Centre Dr. Gonçalves Ferreira, National Institute of Health, Rua Alexandre Herculano, 321, 4000-055 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 1 September 2014
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Abstract

Dogs play many roles and their presence within people’s houses has increased. In rural settings dog faeces are not removed from the streets, representing an environmental pollution factor. Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of environmental contamination with zoonotic intestinal parasites of three groups of dogs in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, with a particular emphasis on Echinococcus granulosus. We collected 592 dog faecal samples from the environment, farm and hunting dogs. Qualitative flotation coprological analysis was performed and the frequency in the positive samples ranged between 57.44% and 81.19% in different groups. We isolated up to four different parasites in one sample and detected seven intestinal parasitic species, genera or families overall. Ancylostomatidae was the most prevalent parasite, followed by Trichuris spp., Toxocara spp., Isospora spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taeniidae and Toxascaris leonina. Taeniidae eggs were analyzed with the PCR technique and revealed not to be from Echinococcus. The parasite prevalence and the diversity of zoonotic parasites found were high, which calls for a greater awareness of the problem among the population, especially hunters. Promoting research at the local level is important to plan control strategies. Health education should be developed with regard to farmers and hunters, and a closer collaboration between researchers, practitioners and public health authorities is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog; Echinococcus; fecal environmental contamination; parasitic zoonoses; helminths; public health dog; Echinococcus; fecal environmental contamination; parasitic zoonoses; helminths; public health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mateus, T.L.; Castro, A.; Ribeiro, J.N.; Vieira-Pinto, M. Multiple Zoonotic Parasites Identified in Dog Feces Collected in Ponte de Lima, Portugal—A Potential Threat to Human Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 9050-9067.

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