Abstract: Few studies have been conducted in Italy to quantify the potential risk associated with dynamics and distribution of pathogens in urban settings. The aim of this study was to acquire data on the environmental faecal contamination in urban ecosystems, by assessing the presence of pathogens in public areas in the city of Bari (Apulia region, Italy). To determine the degree of environmental contamination, samples of dog faeces and bird guano were collected from different areas in the city of Bari (park green areas, playgrounds, public housing areas, parkways, and a school). A total of 152 canine faecal samples, in 54 pools, and two samples of pigeon guano from 66 monitored sites were examined. No samples were found in 12 areas spread over nine sites. Chlamydophila psittaci was detected in seven canine and two pigeon guano samples. Salmonella species were not found. On the other hand, four of 54 canine faecal samples were positive for reovirus. Thirteen canine faecal samples were positive for parasite eggs: 8/54 samples contained Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina eggs and 5/54 samples contained Ancylostoma caninum eggs. Our study showed that public areas are often contaminated by potentially zoonotic pathogens.
Keywords: public health; urban ecosystems; Chlamydophila psittaci; Reovirus; Rotavirus; Toxocara canis; Toxascaris leonina; Ancylostoma caninum; Trichuris vulpis
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Tarsitano, E.; Greco, G.; Decaro, N.; Nicassio, F.; Lucente, M.S.; Buonavoglia, C.; Tempesta, M. Environmental Monitoring and Analysis of Faecal Contamination in an Urban Setting in the City of Bari (Apulia Region, Italy): Health and Hygiene Implications. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 3972-3986.
Tarsitano E, Greco G, Decaro N, Nicassio F, Lucente MS, Buonavoglia C, Tempesta M. Environmental Monitoring and Analysis of Faecal Contamination in an Urban Setting in the City of Bari (Apulia Region, Italy): Health and Hygiene Implications. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(11):3972-3986.
Tarsitano, Elvira; Greco, Grazia; Decaro, Nicola; Nicassio, Francesco; Lucente, Maria Stella; Buonavoglia, Canio; Tempesta, Maria. 2010. "Environmental Monitoring and Analysis of Faecal Contamination in an Urban Setting in the City of Bari (Apulia Region, Italy): Health and Hygiene Implications." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 11: 3972-3986.