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High prevalence of intestinal infections and ectoparasites in dogs, Minas Gerais State (southeast Brazil)

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In the present study, 155 dogs euthanized by the Zoonotic Disease Unit of Uberlândia in Minas Gerais State (Southeast Brazil) were autopsied. Ectoparasites were collected, and the intestinal content of dogs was systematically examined for the presence of helminthic parasites. In total, we isolated 5,155 metazoan parasites of eight species (three intestinal helminth species, five ectoparasite species). The cestode Dipylidium caninum was present in 57 dogs (36.8 %), the nematodes Ancylostoma caninum in 30 (19.4 %) and Toxocara canis in 24 (15.5 %), respectively. Among the ectoparasites, 139 (89.7 %) dogs were infested with Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 115 (74.2 %) with Ctenocephalides felis, 5 (3.2 %) with Tunga penetrans and one specimen (0.7 %) with Amblyomma cajennense, while myiasis was found in one dog (0.7 %). In logistic regression analysis, young age (adjusted odds ratio 5.74; 95 % confidence interval 1.18–27.85) and male sex (3.60; 1.24–10.40) were significantly associated with toxocariasis, and crossbreed dogs (8.20; 1.52–44.31), with dipylidiasis. Male (2.23; 1.12–4.43) and crossbreed dogs (5.17; 1.17–22.83) had also a significant higher number of concomitant parasitoses. Spatial distribution of dogs by neighbourhood identified high-risk areas. Our systematic study shows that dogs in Uberlândia carry a high number of parasites which may cause zoonotic diseases in humans; therefore, further specific evidence-based intervention measures are needed.

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We thank the Centro de Control de Zoonoses/Uberlândia and the Universidade Federal do Ceará/Fortaleza for the help and support. JH is research fellow from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq/Brazil). LA received a scholarship from FUNCAP/Brazil (Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico). This study was supported by a “Projeto Universal” grant from CNPq. The present study was financially supported by the research funding programme “Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” (LOEWE) of Hesse's Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts.


We declare that the conducted study comply with the Brazilian laws.

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Correspondence to Sven Klimpel.

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Heukelbach, J., Frank, R., Ariza, L. et al. High prevalence of intestinal infections and ectoparasites in dogs, Minas Gerais State (southeast Brazil). Parasitol Res 111, 1913–1921 (2012).

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