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Enteric pathogens of dogs and cats with public health implications

By M. Kantere, L. V. Athanasiou, D. C. Chatzopoulos, V. Spyrou, G. Valiakos, V. Kontos, C. Billinis

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Dogs and cats play an important role in modern society, enhancing the psychological and physiological well-being of many people. However, there are well-documented health risks associated with human animal interactions. More specifically, enteric pathogens of zoonotic risk which are transmitted by feces of dogs and cats can be grouped as follows: (a) Parasites such as Toxocara canis, T. cati, Ancylostoma sp, Uncinaria sp, Strongyloides stercoralis, Echinococcus granulosus, E. multilocularis and Dipylidium caninum (b) Protozoa including Toxoplasma gondii, Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. (c) Bacteria of the genera Clostridium, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia, Yersinia and Helicobacter and (d) Viruses mainly Rotaviruses and Coronaviruses. Among them, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Rotaviruses, Toxoplasma gondii, Echinococcus have been reported to be of considerable importance for many countries including Greece. Even though official records of the cases in humans and livestock in Greece continuously decline, cystic echinococcosis is considered to be a serious problem for public health and livestock economy. Regarding other parasites, the overall prevalence of parasitism was 26% in owned shepherd and hunting dogs examined in Serres. Furthermore, seroepidemiological studies revealed the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in a considerable percentage of hospitalized children. Rotaviruses were confirmed as a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in children. Finally, bacterial zoonotic enteropathogens were identified in a notable number of pediatric cases. Most of these zoonoses are associated with the exposure of immunodeficient people or children to pets and/or conditions of poor hygiene. Studies on the presence of all these pathogens in animals are required to identify the extent of problem, to define control strategies and evaluate their effectiveness.

Publication Title American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 84-94
ISBN/ISSN 1557-4555
DOI 10.3844/ajavsp.2014.84.94
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 224, Trikalon Str, 431 00 Karditsa, Greece.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Antibodies
  3. Bacteria
  4. Balkans
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Cats
  9. Children
  10. Control
  11. Developed countries
  12. Diseases
  13. Dogs
  14. Epidemiology
  15. Europe
  16. Feces
  17. Gastroenteritis
  18. Greece
  19. Helminthiasis
  20. Humans
  21. Hunting dogs
  22. Hygiene
  23. Infections
  24. Invertebrates
  25. Mammals
  26. Mediterranean region
  27. Men
  28. nematodes
  29. OECD countries
  30. Parasites
  31. Parasitic diseases
  32. peer-reviewed
  33. Primates
  34. prokaryotes
  35. Protozoa
  36. Public health
  37. roundworm
  38. Salmonella
  39. tapeworms
  40. tests
  41. toxoplasmosis
  42. vertebrates
  43. Virus diseases
  44. Zoonoses
  1. peer-reviewed