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Echinococcus granulosus and other intestinal helminths: current status of prevalence and management in rural dogs of eastern Australia


Jenkins, D J; Lievaart, J J; Boufana, B; Lett, W S; Bradshaw, H; Armua-Fernandez, M T (2014). Echinococcus granulosus and other intestinal helminths: current status of prevalence and management in rural dogs of eastern Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 92(8):292-298.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Ascertain the prevalence of intestinal helminths in rural dogs from eastern Australia and Tasmania. Identify farm management practices contributing to the perpetuation and transmission of Echinococcus granulosus. METHODS Helminth infection in dogs was determined microscopically through faecal flotation. Infection with E. granulosus was determined via faecal antigen-capture ELISA and coproPCR. Taeniid eggs were identified using molecular methods. Data on dog management and owner understanding of hydatid disease were collected via questionnaire. RESULTS Faeces were collected from 1425 Australian rural dogs (1119 mainland; 306 Tasmania). Eggs of hookworms were most prevalent, up to 40.2%, followed by whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), up to 21.2%. Roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine) were least common, up to 6.1%. Taeniid eggs were found in 11 dogs (5 Taenia pisiformis; 2 T. serialis; 4 T. hydatigena); 2 of the T. hydatigena-infected dogs were also E. granulosus coproantigen-positive. Of the 45 dogs found to be E. granulosus coproantigen-positive, 24 were in Tasmania, 16 in NSW, 3 in Victoria and 2 in Queensland. Three Tasmanian coproantigen ELISA-positive dogs were also coproPCR-positive. The most common dog ration was commercial dry food, but half the owners fed raw meat to their dogs and some fed offal of lambs (8.9%) or mutton (7.8%). More than half (69%) of owners weighed their dogs before deworming. Few dewormed their dogs often enough to ensure they remained cestode-free and owners hunting wildlife usually left carcases where they were shot. CONCLUSIONS E. granulosus is still present in Australian rural dogs, including Tasmania, but at low levels. Owner behaviour perpetuates transmission of cestodes.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Ascertain the prevalence of intestinal helminths in rural dogs from eastern Australia and Tasmania. Identify farm management practices contributing to the perpetuation and transmission of Echinococcus granulosus. METHODS Helminth infection in dogs was determined microscopically through faecal flotation. Infection with E. granulosus was determined via faecal antigen-capture ELISA and coproPCR. Taeniid eggs were identified using molecular methods. Data on dog management and owner understanding of hydatid disease were collected via questionnaire. RESULTS Faeces were collected from 1425 Australian rural dogs (1119 mainland; 306 Tasmania). Eggs of hookworms were most prevalent, up to 40.2%, followed by whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), up to 21.2%. Roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine) were least common, up to 6.1%. Taeniid eggs were found in 11 dogs (5 Taenia pisiformis; 2 T. serialis; 4 T. hydatigena); 2 of the T. hydatigena-infected dogs were also E. granulosus coproantigen-positive. Of the 45 dogs found to be E. granulosus coproantigen-positive, 24 were in Tasmania, 16 in NSW, 3 in Victoria and 2 in Queensland. Three Tasmanian coproantigen ELISA-positive dogs were also coproPCR-positive. The most common dog ration was commercial dry food, but half the owners fed raw meat to their dogs and some fed offal of lambs (8.9%) or mutton (7.8%). More than half (69%) of owners weighed their dogs before deworming. Few dewormed their dogs often enough to ensure they remained cestode-free and owners hunting wildlife usually left carcases where they were shot. CONCLUSIONS E. granulosus is still present in Australian rural dogs, including Tasmania, but at low levels. Owner behaviour perpetuates transmission of cestodes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:August 2014
Deposited On:07 Oct 2014 09:16
Last Modified:10 Nov 2016 14:12
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0005-0423
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/avj.12218
PubMed ID:25066196

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