Original Article

Gastrointestinal Helminthic Parasites of Stray Cats (Felis ca-tus) in Northwest Iran


Background: Stray cats are considered an important source of various human and animal diseases, particularly diseases of parasitic helminths. We aimed to investigate the distribution of zoonotic species of gastrointestinal helminths in stray cats in Meshkin-Shahr district in Ardabil Province in the northwest of Iran.

Methods: The gastrointestinal tract of 104 stray cats from villages of Meshkin-Shahr district were provided during 2014-2015. Each gastrointestinal tract was cut into distinct sections, including esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, and each section was examined separately for detection of helminths. Helminths were collected and then identified at the species level after clearing and staining.

Results: Overall, 88 out of 104 cats (84.6%) were found to be infected with at least one gastrointestinal helminth. The rate of infection for each species was as follows: Toxocara mystax (syn. cati) (49%), Taenia taeniaeformis (44.2%), Joyexiella pasqualei (32.7%), Dipylidium caninum (23.1%), Rictularia cahirensis (4.8%), and Physaloptera praeputialis (4.8%). Among these parasites, only Ph. praeputialis was collected from the stomach, all other helminths were collected from the small intestine.

Conclusion: The results demonstrate a high infection rate of stray cats with zoonotic helminths. The presence of zoonotic species in stray cats, particularly T. mystax, has public health importance.

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IssueVol 16 No 3 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v16i3.7095
Gastrointestinal helminths Toxocara mystax Stray cats Zoonotic Iran

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How to Cite
Darabi E, Kia EB, Mohebali M, Mobedi I, Zahabiun F, Zarei Z, Khodabakhsh M, Khanaliha K. Gastrointestinal Helminthic Parasites of Stray Cats (Felis ca-tus) in Northwest Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2021;16(3):418-425.