Certain zoonotic parasites are enteropathogens in dogs that cause serious human disease such as cystic echinococcosis, human alveolar echinococcosis, visceral larva migrans, and ocular larva migrans. This study investigated the prevalence of intestinal parasites in dogs in the Chenaran County, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran. Sampling was carried out randomly in 17 villages from November 2009 to January 2010. Seventy-seven fecal samples from 28 domestic and 49 stray dogs were examined using sieving/flotation and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Intestinal parasites were found in 51 of the 77 (66%) dogs most common being Toxascaris leonina (29%, 22/77), Toxocara spp. (25%, 19/77), Eimeria spp. (19%, 15/77), Taenia/Echinococcus spp. (18%, 14/77), Sarcocystis spp. (17%, 13/77), and Dicrocoelium dendriticum (14%, 11/77). Lower infection rates of parasites were observed for Trichuris vulpis (6%, 5/77), Cryptosporidium spp. (5%, 4/77), and Physaloptera spp. (3%, 2/77). Prevalence of infection by Dipylidium caninum, Capillaria spp., Cystoisospora spp., and hookworms was similar (1%, 1/77). This study is the first report of the prevalence of intestinal parasites of domestic and stray dogs in Chenaran County, Northeast Iran. The higher prevalence of zoonotic intestinal parasites such as Toxascaris leonina, Toxocara spp. and Taenia/Echinococcus spp. compared to other parasites indicates the need for control programs to minimize the risk of transmission of zoonotic disease, particularly cystic echinococcosis, alveolar echinococcosis, visceral larva migrans, and ocular larva migrans to people living in these areas.
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