Parasites, bridge to human: Integrated Health Approach

Dr. Birendra Shrestha, Dr. Kush Kumar Yadav

Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University

Parasites are the integral part of the human, playing essential role but are we serious about the parasites that run forming a chain from our pets to human illness. There are several opportunistic parasites that find their way from dogs to human. Most common of them are Ancylostoma spp., Toxocara spp., Taenia spp., Dipylidium spp., Trichuris spp. and Diphyllobothrium spp.. The most common zoonotic diseases of the developing countries are cutaneous and visceral larva migrans, hydatidosis, and taeniasis (Akao & Ohta, 2007) and giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis and echinococcosis (Kaewthamasorn et al, 2006).

The contamination of urban public spaces with parasitic dog faeces constitutes a public health problem mainly in children, which is most likely due to the close contact that children have with soil in public parks due to their land-grabbing habit (Ribeiro, Dracz, Mozzer & Lima, 2013; Soriano et al.,2010). Dogs have been implicated in playing a significant role in the contaminating soils around poor peri-urban and urban environments (Avcioglu & Balkaya,2011; Maśnik, 2000). Most parasites affect the dogs subclinically and dogs may harbor a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential, thus causing a health risk to humans (Craig & Macpherson, 2000).

Dogs are the most popular pet and famous among kids. The more we indulge with the dog chances of transmission are higher. Unknowingly, we do welcome a lot of parasites by not maintaining sanitation measures. Vaccination is not only the way to protect themselves and dogs from diseases. Deworming in regular interval is also the important required preventive measure. Virus, Bacteria are not only known for zoonotic pathogens. Parasites too play major role in zoonotic disease transmission resulting in fatal cases.

In a research conducted at Rupandehi district on 400 dogs, we found Ancylostoma spp. (46.81%), Toxocara spp (37.87%), Taenia spp. (9.36%), Dipylidium spp. (22.98%), Trichuris spp. (5.73%) and Diphyllobothrium spp. (2.98%) to be the prominent parasites in the area. The study revealed the occurrence of single helminth parasitic infection more common (78.72%) than concurrent mixed infection (21.28%) among positive samples. There was higher prevalence of gastrointestinal zoonotic helminth in non-dewormed pet dogs (61.41%) than in dewormed pet dogs (36.81%).

Research data clearly explains the threat of disease transmission that could lead to major economic and health disturbances to human. Deworming on regular basis and screening can be the best preventive ways. Having pets and raising them properly following vaccination and deworming schedule can lead to long life of dogs and ultimately a happy company to human.






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