Parasitology Research

, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 2135–2141 | Cite as

Zoonotic parasites in feces and fur of stray and private dogs from Italy

  • Barbara Paoletti
  • Donato Traversa
  • Raffaella Iorio
  • Alberto De Berardinis
  • Roberto Bartolini
  • Romolo Salini
  • Angela Di CesareEmail author
Original Paper


The present study evaluated the occurrence of zoonotic parasites in feces and on fur of stray and private dogs living in Italy. Individual fecal samples collected from 117 and 385 kenneled (i.e., rescue shelter) and privately owned dogs, respectively, were examined by conventional copromicroscopy. Samples positive for Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. were subjected to further genetic characterization. Additionally, 174 fur samples of private and kenneled dogs living in the same area, 27 of which were also subjected to copromicroscopical examinations, were examined for the presence and viability of parasite elements. Out of 502 fecal samples, forty-one (8.2 %) scored positive for G. duodenalis cysts while one (0.2 %) for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Nine private dogs were molecularly positive for G. duodenalis assemblage C (n. 7), assemblage D (n. 1), and assemblages C + D (n. 1), while 11 kenneled dogs were positive for assemblage C (n. 8), assemblage D (n. 1), and assemblages C + D (n. 2). Cryptosporidium spp. were identified as C. canis in a private dog. One hundred and seventy-two dogs (34.3 %), i.e., 92 private and 80 kenneled, were positive for zoonotic nematodes: Toxocara canis (6.6 %), Ancylostoma caninum (6.8 %), and Capillaria aerophila (0.6 %). Unviable eggs of Toxocara spp. were found on the hair of five (2.9 %) private dogs. The present findings indicate that canine feces from both private and kenneled animals may contain zoonotic parasites and may be a potential risk for humans and other animals, especially when they contaminate the environment. The role of dog fur as source of human infections should be further investigated.


Dogs Parasites Zoonosis Stool Fur 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Paoletti
    • 1
  • Donato Traversa
    • 1
  • Raffaella Iorio
    • 1
  • Alberto De Berardinis
    • 1
  • Roberto Bartolini
    • 1
  • Romolo Salini
    • 2
  • Angela Di Cesare
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of TeramoTeramoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise ‘G. Caporale’TeramoItaly

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