A survey on endoparasites of Dogs in Lusaka and Katete Districts of Zambia

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Bwalya, Eugene Chisela
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The present study attempted to bridge the paucity of information on the prevalence of canine endoparasites in Zambia and to establish some of the risk factors that may be associated with endoparasitism. Faecal, blood and necropsy data on endoparasites were collected between January and December 2010 to determine the prevalence of canine endoparasites in two demographically and socio-economically diverse regions of Zambia. A total of 486 dogs were sampled (n = 160 Katete,predominantlyrural; n = 326 Lusaka,predominantlyurban).Faecal samples were examined by simple and centrifugal faecal flotation methods for the presence of helminth eggs. In Katete, 82.5 percent of dogs were positive for gastrointestinal (GI) helminths compared to 76 percent for Lusaka. The overall prevalence of single helminth infections were as follows: 72.1 percent Ancylostoma caninum, 11.3 percent Toxocara canis, 6.6 percent Trichuris vulpis, 6.2 percent Dipylidium caninum, 4.4 percent Toxascaris leonina and 0.7 percent Taeniid eggs. Except for T.vulpis (Lusaka: 0.3 percent, Katete 18.1 percent) and D. caninum (Lusaka: 3.8 percent,Katete: 13.1 percent) (p < 0.05), the results indicated no significant difference in the prevalence of the detected helminths between Lusaka and Katete. In this study, there was no significant difference in GI helminth prevalence between sexes except with A. caninum, which showed a significantly higher prevalence of 80.5 percent in dogs aged between six to 12 months old in comparison to the 56.1 percent in those above 60 months of age. The prevalence of multiple infections with two and three parasites species per host was not statistically different between Lusaka and Katete except for A. caninum single infections and co-infection with D. caninum (p < 0.05).Thirty-three dogs destined for euthanasia were collected and necropsy information collected. A. caninum was the most prevalent (93.9 percent) helminth recovered in euthanized dogs with T. canis being the least (6.1 percent). The prevalence of D. caninum was 63.6 percent whereas that of Spirocerca lupi was 27.3 percent. Thin blood smears stained with Giemsa and buffy coats were examined for parasites. The prevalence of Babesia canis was very low and was only reported in Lusaka. There were no positive cases of canine trypanosomosis. Significant reduction in packed cell volume (PCV) was observed with two co-infecting GI helminths in Katete and overall, eosinophilia was observed only for T. leonina. The presence of the zoonotic helminths A. caninum, T. canis and D. caninum in these two demographically and socio-economically diverse regions of Zambia indicates that dogs play an important epidemiological role as reservoirs of infections for man.
Endoparasites , Dogs Diseases