Survey of Toxocara eggs on Dog Hair as a Potential Transmission Route in Human Toxocariasis in Northeastern Iran
Background: Toxocara canis is a gastrointestinal nematode of dogs and other canids with high zoonotic potential. Human infection occurs following ingestion of infective eggs that have been passed in the dogs’ feces. Contact with contaminated soils, is one of the most important risk factors for human infection by T. canis eggs. However, in recent studies transmission of infective eggs, through human contact with contaminated dogs’ hair have been proposed. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of Toxocara eggs on the hair and feces of dogs which attended to Veterinary Clinic of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran.
Methods: A total 100 dogs which attended to the clinic were used in the present study. The hair samples were collected from the head, back and perineal region of dogs’ body. Besides collecting hairs, fecal samples were also collected and analyzed for the presence of T. canis eggs.
Results: T. canis eggs were found in 11% of the hair samples and 10% of the feces samples. Additionally, it has been observed that the risk factors impact such as breed, season of sampling, sex, hair length, indoor-outdoor access and age, were not significant on the T. canis eggs presence in the faecal and hair samples.
Conclusion: Human exposure to the hair of dogs, may be significant risk factor for infection and regular anthelmintic treatment, hygiene of animals and public education of the importance of dogs are recommended to prevent human toxocariasis.
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