Endoparasites of Stray Dogs in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, Northeast Iran with Special Reference to Zoonotic Parasites
Background: To find out different species of helminthes and blood/tissue pro-tozoan parasites of stray dogs and their potential role for transmission of zoonotic species to human in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, northeast Iran, during 2008-2009.
Methods: Totally, 100 stray dogs were selected among Mashhad municipal collec-tion from different sites of the city. Internal organs were examined for any para-sites. Helminthes were identified based on morphological characteristics. Smears prepared from peripheral blood as well as liver, spleen and any skin lesion were stained by Giemsa and examined microscopically. Samples obtained from spleen were aseptically cultured in three culture media including NNN, Schneider’s Dro-sophila (HIMEDIA) and RPMI1640 (GIBCO) for isolation of Leishmania spp. The titer of anti-Leishmania and anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were measured by direct ag-glutination test (DAT) and indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), respectively.
Results: 84% of dogs were infected at least with one species of intestinal hel-minthes. The species of parasites and rate of infection were as follows: Taenia hydatigena (61%), Dipylidium caninum (46%), Mesocestoides lineatus (19%), Echinococcus granulosus (10%), Toxascaris leonina (53%) and Toxocara canis (7%). Anti-Leishmania antibodies were detected by DAT in 8 dogs (8%) at 1:320 titers and higher. Forty seven dogs (47%) showed anti-Toxoplasma titer at 1:10 and 17 (17%) showed titer of ≥1:100. No blood parasites were found in prepared blood smears.
Conclusion: The high rate of parasitic infection and presence of zoonotic species especially E. granulosus and T. canis emphasizes the risk of diseases spread in urban areas by stray dogs
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