Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2017. 12(4):606-613.

New Record of Brachylaima sp. (Digenea: Brachylaimidae) from a Stray Dog in North Iran



Background: Stray dogs are considered potential reservoirs for zoonotic diseases. Previous helminthic surveys in Iran, have accounted for mainly species of nematodes and cestodes, and rarely digeneans.

Methods: We accessed 42 car-crashed stray dogs from the Farah Abad Region in the Mazandaran Province (North Iran) between Oct 2012 and Dec 2013, to be inspected for parasites. Helminths were collected from the intestine and they were morphologically studied.

Results: We found five adult digeneans from the family Brachylaimidae, identified as Brachylaima sp. Worms were assigned to the genus based on the shape of the body, the position of genital pore, cirrus sac and testes, and the extension of the vitellarium. Absence of additional information on the developmental stages of the parasite precluded its specific identification. As the geographic distribution of species of Brachylaima is restricted to the Mediterranean region, we raise the hypothesis that dogs may become infected with parasites through the consumption of helicid snails when searching for food on the street.

Conclusion: This is the second report of a species of Brachylaima in Iran and the third digenean species from stray dogs in the area. We want to raise the attention of researchers to helminthic surveys in potential zoonotic reservoirs like stray dogs. 


Stray dog; Zoonosis; Digenea; Brachylaima; Iran

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