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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of the Level of Awareness about the Transmission of Echinococcosis and Toxocariasis between Pet Owners and Non-Pet Owners in Greece

1
Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of West Attica, 12243 Athens, Greece
2
Laboratory of Research of the Musculoskeletal System, School of Medicine, University of Athens, 12243 Athens, Greece
3
Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M23 9LT, UK
4
Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L 69 7BE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work and they will jointly share the first authorship.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155292
Received: 31 May 2020 / Revised: 17 July 2020 / Accepted: 19 July 2020 / Published: 22 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Nursing)
Ζoonotic parasitic diseases that can occur through animal contact pose risks to pets, their owners and to their bond. This study aims to assess the level of knowledge about zoonoses, specifically echinococcosis and toxocariasis, among cat/dog owners and non-pet owners in Greece. Multiple-choice questionnaires were designed to obtain data regarding the knowledge of pet and non-pet owners on echinococcosis and toxocariasis, including signs and symptoms of these zoonoses, ways of transmission and precautions that need to be taken into account in order to avoid it. A total of 185 questionnaires were retrieved and data was expressed as absolute (Ν) and relative frequencies (%). Associations between pet ownership, residence and outcome variables were evaluated using the Fisher exact test and Chi-squared test, respectively. Multifactorial linear regression analysis was used to investigate the cross-sectional association between demographic characteristics and the awareness of helminthic zoonoses. All tests were two-sided and statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Our study revealed a disturbing lack of awareness of echinococcosis and toxocariasis (mean zoonotic knowledge score 8.11 ± 3.18) independently of pet ownership. Surprisingly, in some cases the ignorance of pet owners exceeded that of non-pet owners. Given the progressive impact of toxocariasis in public health and the high prevalence of echinococcosis in the Mediterranean region, measures should be taken to inform people about zoonoses and eliminate their putative transmission. View Full-Text
Keywords: awareness; cats; dogs; echinococcosis; parasites; pet owners; toxocariasis awareness; cats; dogs; echinococcosis; parasites; pet owners; toxocariasis
MDPI and ACS Style

Kantarakia, C.; Tsoumani, M.E.; Galanos, A.; Mathioudakis, A.G.; Giannoulaki, E.; Beloukas, A.; Voyiatzaki, C. Comparison of the Level of Awareness about the Transmission of Echinococcosis and Toxocariasis between Pet Owners and Non-Pet Owners in Greece. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5292. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155292

AMA Style

Kantarakia C, Tsoumani ME, Galanos A, Mathioudakis AG, Giannoulaki E, Beloukas A, Voyiatzaki C. Comparison of the Level of Awareness about the Transmission of Echinococcosis and Toxocariasis between Pet Owners and Non-Pet Owners in Greece. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(15):5292. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155292

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kantarakia, Christina; Tsoumani, Maria E.; Galanos, Antonis; Mathioudakis, Alexander G.; Giannoulaki, Eleni; Beloukas, Apostolos; Voyiatzaki, Chrysa. 2020. "Comparison of the Level of Awareness about the Transmission of Echinococcosis and Toxocariasis between Pet Owners and Non-Pet Owners in Greece" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 15: 5292. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155292

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