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Reading: Helminthiasis in dogs of University of Peradeniya premises: a potential public health problem

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Helminthiasis in dogs of University of Peradeniya premises: a potential public health problem

Authors:

C. S. Sepalage,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About C. S.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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P. K. Perera,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About P. K.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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R. S. Rajakaruna

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R. S.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

A sizable population of stray dogs are wandering in the premises of the University of Peradeniya and they ramble and defecate inside the faculty buildings and student hostels. This may pose a public health risk due to wide range of zoonotic parasites strays might harbour. Here we carried out a cross-sectional, coprological survey to assess the canine helminthiasis in the Peradeniya university premises. Fresh feacal samples were collected from March to June 2018 and were analyzed using a modified Sheather’s sucrose flotation technique. Sixty dogs were sampled, of which 76.6% was infected with one or more enteric helminths with a higher prevalence in stray dogs (88.6%) than owned dogs (60.0%). Seven helminth genera were recorded: Toxocara (26.7%), Spirocerca (26.7%), Strongyloides (10.0%), Trichuris (5.0%), Dipylidium (3.3%), Capillaria (3.3%) and Ancylostoma (73.3%). All seven genera were recorded in the stray dogs while Trichuris was not recorded in the owned dogs. Ancylostoma was the most prevalent infection with the highest intensity (103.4 ±198.4 Eggs per gram: EPG). There was no difference in the prevalence of Ancylostoma infections between strays (60.0%) and owned dogs (46.7%) but the intensity of infection was higher in owned dogs (155.2 EPG); range 2 - 755 EPG) than strays (71.6 EPG; range of 1 – 546 EPG), irrespective of de-worming. It could be due to development of antihelminthic resistance as routine use likely to accelerate the development of resistance in canine helminths. Except for Capillaria, other six helminths recorded were zoonotic, with a potential of humans acquiring the infections when there is close contact with dogs. Stray dogs may act as reservoirs of these infections for owned dogs and humans and vise versa. In order to control the zoonotic infections, the stray dog population in and around faculties and residential halls, has to be controlled implementing strict rules on feeding strays inside the university premises.
How to Cite: Sepalage, C. S., Perera, P. K., & Rajakaruna, R. S. (2020). Helminthiasis in dogs of University of Peradeniya premises: a potential public health problem. Ceylon Journal of Science, 49(1), 29–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v49i1.7703
Published on 25 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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