Parasites of importance for human health in Nigerian dogs: high prevalence and limited knowledge of pet owners

Ugbomoiko, Uade Samuel, Ariza, Liana, and Heukelbach, Jorg (2008) Parasites of importance for human health in Nigerian dogs: high prevalence and limited knowledge of pet owners. BMC Veterinary Research, 4. - .

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Abstract

Background: Dogs are the most common pet animals worldwide. They may harbour a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential, thus causing a health risk to humans. In Nigeria, epidemiological knowledge on these parasites is limited.

Methods: In a community-based study, we examined 396 dogs in urban and rural areas of Ilorin (Kwara State, Central Nigeria) for ectoparasites and intestinal helminths. In addition, a questionnaire regarding knowledge and practices was applied to pet owners.

Results: Nine ectoparasite species belonging to four taxa and six intestinal helminth species were identified: fleas (Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, Tunga penetrans), mites (Demodex canis, Otodectes sp., Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis), ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Ixodes sp.), and lice (Trichodectes canis); and Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma sp., Trichuris vulpis, Dipylidium caninum, Taenidae and Strongyloides sp. Overall prevalence of ectoparasites was 60.4% and of intestinal helminths 68.4%. The occurrence of C. canis, R. sanguineus, T. canis, Ancylostoma sp. and T. vulpis was most common (prevalence 14.4% to 41.7%). Prevalence patterns in helminths were age-dependent, with T. canis showing a decreasing prevalence with age of host, and a reverse trend in other parasite species. Knowledge regarding zoonoses was very limited and the diseases not considered a major health problem. Treatment with antiparasitic drugs was more frequent in urban areas.

Conclusion: Parasites of importance for human health were highly prevalent in Nigerian dogs. Interventions should include health education provided to dog owners and the establishment of a program focusing on zoonotic diseases.

Item ID: 6035
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: dogs; parasites; zoonotic diseases; KAP survey; Nigeria
Additional Information:

Article Number: 49. Page numbers on the PDF are not for citation purposes. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 1746-6148
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 05:47
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 80%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 19
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