Toxocara nematodes in stray cats from shiraz, southern iran: intensity of infection and molecular identification of the isolates.
AbstractBackground: Toxocara is a common nematode of cats in different parts of Iran. Despite the close association of cats with human, no attempt has been done so far for molecular identification of this nematode in the country. Therefore, current study was performed on identification of some isolates of Toxocara from stray cats in Shiraz, Fars Province, Southern Iran, based on morphological and molecular approaches, and also determination of intensity of infection. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 30 stray cats trapped from different geographical areas of Shiraz in 2011. Adult male and female worms were recovered from digestive tract after dissection of cats. Morphological features us-ing existing keys and PCR-sequencing of ITS-rDNA region and pcox1 mitochon-drial l gene were applied for the delineating the species of the parasites. Results: Eight out of 30 cats (26.7%) were found infected with Toxocara nema-todes. All the isolates were confirmed as Toxocara cati based on morphological fea-tures and the sequence of ribosomal and mitochondrial targets. Intensity of infec-tion ranged from one to a maximum of 39 worms per cat, with a mean of 10.25±12.36, and higher abundance of female nematodes. Conclusion: The most prevalent ascaridoid nematode of stray cats in the study area was T. cati and female nematodes were more abundant than that of males. This issue has important role in spreading of eggs in the environment and impact on human toxocariasis.
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