Dogs are reservoirs of many zoonotic diseases. In Ethiopia, the majority of owned dogs are semi-stray, freely roaming in the community. Studies reporting dog borne zoonotic diseases are scarce in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to assess Dipylidium caninum
infection in dogs and in children with gastrointestinal complaints in Bishoftu Town, Oromia. We collected 384 fecal samples from dogs presented to veterinary teaching hospital and 259 stool samples from children presented to Bishoftu Hospital for clinical examination. Samples were first macroscopically examined for the presence of proglotids, followed by microscopic examination for the presence of eggs with the direct smear following flotation technique. The prevalence of D. caninum
was 21% (95% CI: 16.6–24.9) in dogs. Although not statistically significant (p
> 0.05), higher prevalence was detected in adult (11.9%), local breed (17.7%), and male (12.6%) dogs compared to young (8.59%), exotic breed (2.86%), and females (7.81%), respectively. Dipylidium caninum
was detected in a stool sample obtained from a three year-old child (0.4%, 1/259). This study showed that the prevalence of D. caninum
in the dogs is high while it is rare in children. Although the prevalence in children is negligible in this study, the high proportion of infected dogs can pose a significant risk of infection in the general human population. Public health risk can be reduced by eliminating the semi-roaming of owned dogs and proper management of dogs with regular deworming and prevention of environmental contamination with dog feces. Similarly, raising public awareness about dog borne zoonoses and avoiding contact with dog feces are important.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited