Ectoparasite infestations of urban stray dogs in Greece and their zoonotic potential
Abstract : The presence of ectoparasites is very common in stray dogs worldwide. So far there are limited data on the spread of external parasites of dogs in Greece. Due to the potential risk of human infestation and/or transmission of zoonotic agents, knowledge of their abundance and distribution is essential in order to better define preventive measures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of external parasites of stray dogs from the area of Thessaloniki Greece. Out of a total of 242 stray dogs (85 males and 157 females) tested, the greatest percentages of infestation of 46.28% and 43.8% by fleas (Ctenocephalides felis and Ctenocephalides canis) and ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) respectively were observed. Moreover, 15 dogs (6.20%) were found infested by Sarcoptes scabiei var canis, 8 (3.31%), by Otodectes cynotis while 4 (1.65%) dogs were infested by Cheyletiella sp and Demodex canis. Finally, three dogs (1.24%) were found infested by lice (Trichodectes canis). A statistically significant higher percentage of external parasites was detected in young dogs compared to adults (P=0.0001) and in males compared to females (P<0.0001), while this difference was not statistically significant in short haired compared to long haired and in small size compared to large size dogs (P= 0.6938 and P=0.9934, respectively). The results of this study support the assumption that stray dogs constitute a considerable source of ectoparasites and their infestation is indicative of the presence and abundance of ectoparasites in an area.
Subject Area :
Infectious Diseases Medicine(all) Parasitology