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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


FLORES, Verónica et al. Echinococcosis and other parasitic infections in domestic dogs from urban areas of an argentinean Patagonian city. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2017, vol.77, n.6, pp.469-474. ISSN 0025-7680.

In urban populations of South America, dogs with free access to public areas represent a public health concern. The primary consequence of roaming dogs on human health is the transmission of infectious and parasitic diseases mainly through feces contamination. The main diseases likely to be transmitted are hydatidosis or echinococcosis, larva migrans, and giardiasis. In Argentina, hydatidosis ranks among the most prevalent zoonosis. Although it is considered a rural disease, the circulation of this parasite in urban areas has been documented. The aim of this work was to survey intestinal parasites in canine feces from two low-income urban neighborhoods of Bariloche city, Argentina, and to assess their seasonal variation. During 2016, 188 fresh dog feces were collected from sidewalks in 40 randomly selected blocks from the neighborhoods. Each sample was processed by Sheater flotation and tested for a coproantigen (CAg) by ELISA. The percentage of parasitized feces was 65.3% (95% CI: 55.9%-73.8%). Eleven parasite species were found, 3 protozoan, 3 cestodes, and 5 nematodes. Echinococcus sp. was present in 9.3% of the samples (95% CI: 4.7%-16.1%). Canine echinococcosis rates resulted similar to rates found previously in other neighborhoods of the city. The life cycle of Echinococcus sp. is sustained in urban areas by the entry of parasitized livestock, domiciliary slaughtering, and inadequate deposition of offal. The risk of Echinococcus sp. transmission to people in these neighborhoods is very high, due to high density of free-roaming dogs and high percentages of infected feces, similar to percentages observed in rural areas.

Keywords : Zoonosis; Stray dogs; Dog feces; Echinococcus sp; Low-income populations.

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