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Study of intestinal parasite of stray dog in Lorestan province of Iran.


Although stray dogs are usually rejected due to religious beliefs, hygienic factors, and their biting nature, they are still common animals in urban and rural areas in all regions of Iran [1]. Considering the close association of dogs and human beings and the increasing trend of pet rearing, it is really important for dog owners to know about the status of zoonotic helminthes of stray dogs in Lorestan, Iran. In fact, some of dogs' parasites are zoonotic agents and thus important in public health, e.g., Echinococcus granulosus, Toxocara canis, and Giardia intestinalis [2]. Another parasite known as Neospora caninum has been recognized as a major cause of infectious abortion found in dairy cattle all over the world [3,4]. According to studies of livestock animals in many parts of Iran, hydatidcyst is one of the highly prevalent diseases in Iran [5]. Indeed, this study was carried out to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth parasites in dogs to assess the awareness of canine helminth zoonoses in stray dogs.


This cross section study was carried out in one year [2012-2013] in four cities [Khorram Abad, Borujerd, Dorood, and Poldokhtar] located in Lorestan province in the west of Iran. 80 stray dogs were gathered from these four cities [26 dogs from Khorram Abad, 24 dogs from Borujerd, 20 dogs from Poldokhtar, and 10 dogs from Dorood]. The animals collected were either killed in accidents or shot dead by the police. During the course of this study, the small intestine of these 80 dogs were removed and then transferred to a laboratory. Consequently, the intestinal contents and epithelia were scraped and separated through 60 and 80 mesh wire sieves. Large nematodes were removed and preserved in 10% Formalin and cestodes were fixed and stained with carmine for further studies. Small worms were then detected by loops and transferred to lactophenol plus azocarmin for clearing and staining. Drawing was made by Lucida camera.


Five species of cestodes and four species of nematodes were finally isolated from a total number of 80 dogs., 68 dogs [85%] had at least one helminthic parasite species. As shown in table 1, 22 dogs were infected with Echinococcus granulosus [27.5%], 28 dogs with Taenia hydatigena [35%], 20 dogs with Taenia multiceps [25%], 38 dogs with Dipylidium spp. [47.5%], 4 dogs with Joyeuxiella spp. [5%], 2 dog with Ancylostoma caninum [2.5%], 8 dogs with Toxocara canis [10%], 14 dogs with Toxascaris leonine [17.7%], 1 dog with Rictularia spp. [2.5%], and 1 dog with Oncicula spp. [2.5%].

In this study 30 male and 50 female dogs were examined. No significant difference was found in terms of prevalence of gastrointestinal helminthes in both male and female dogs.


Indeed, the number of stray dogs is really high in most parts of Iran and there are no comprehensive plans to control them. These dogs freely loiter in villages and towns. Agricultural farms and parks are their major passages which easily get contaminated by their stool. Lorestan is one of the major poles in animal husbandry. In fact, animal husbandry in this area as well as most parts of Iran is traditional resulting in a high possibility of contact with dogs' excreta. According to the studies conducted in Iran, unsanitary environment of slaughterhouses and also animal slaughter outside the slaughterhouses, make cestodes larvae taeniidae's family especially Echinococcus available for dogs.

Due to the importance of echinococcus in predisposing hydatidosis in both humans and animals, this parasite is the most important indicator of canine infection. For this reason, a large number of studies have been conducted in different parts of Iran.

In a study in Northern Zagros with mountainous cold weather, stray dogs contaminated with taenia hydatigena and Echinococcus infection, have been reported 53% and 13.25% respectively [1].

In another study in Ilam with mountainous semi-warm weather, stray dogs' contamination with taenia ovis and Echinococcus infection have been reported 38% and 9% respectively.

In a study in Semnan with semi-desert weather in the center of Iran, contaminated dogs with Echinococcus have been reported 64%[6].

In Northeast regions with similar weather to central areas, dogs infected with Echinococcus have been reported 18% [7]. These studies as well as the present study indicate that Echinococcus infection is still an important health problem in many parts of Iran. On the other hand, it is expected that dogs' infections in temperate and mountainous regions be more than in arid ones, however, studies suggest the contrary outcome as far as zoonostic parasites are concerned. As for non-zoonotic infections, temperate regions have more contaminations. Another important zoonostic infection in Iran is toxocara canis. This parasite is the agent of migrant larvae disease [8]. All studies indicate that the number of dogs infected with this parasite has been lower than those infected with cestodes. In an investigation of the studies conducted in Iran in 2012, the ratio of dogs, cats infected with toxocara canis was reported 26.8% and 15.8% respectively [9]. In this investigation, only one case of Richtolaria was observed. In fact, in most studies conducted in Iran, a few cases of this parasite have been recorded. For example, in a study conducted in Moghan desert in the Northwest of Iran, this parasite has been reported in dogs and with greater intensity in foxes [10]. The comparative study of different species of this parasite with the present species indicated that this parasite could turn out to be a new species which needs further investigation.

In this study, Oncicola was observed in dogs only in one case, yet, for the first time. The only reported case of Oncicola canis in Iran has been related to jackal so far [11].

Considering the above mentioned issues, it seems that the dogs' contamination in Iran is a drastic health problem that requires a great deal of attention.


Article history:

Received 11 June 2014

Received in revised form 21 August 2014

Accepted 25 September 2014

Available online 25 November 2014


The current study was supported by Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Broujerd, Iran. We are grateful of all staff of Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University who helped us in this study.


[1] Dalimi, A., A. Sattari, Motamedi Gh., 2006. A study on intestinal helminthes of dogs, foxes and jackals in the western part of Iran. Veterinary Parasitology, 142: 129-133.

[2] Macpherson, C.N.L., F.X. Meslin, 2000. Wandeler AI. Dogs, Zoonoses and Public health. New York: CABI publishing.

[3] Dubey, J.P., G. Schares, L.M. Ortega-Mora, 2007. Epidemiology and Control of Neosporosis and Neospora caninum. Clin Microbiol Rev, 20: 323-367.

[4] Conraths, J., B. Gottstein, 2007. Neosporosis: General considerations. In : Ortega-Mora LM., Gottstein B, Conraths FJ, Buxton D, editors . Protozoal abortion in farm ruminants, Wallingford: CAB international, 425.

[5] Eslami, A.,1991. Veterinary Helmintology, 1-3, Iran: Tehran University Publications; [Persian].

[6] Eslami, A., Ranjbar-Bahadori Sh., B. Meshgi, M. Dehghan and S. Bokaie, 2010. Helminth Infections of Stray Dogs from Garmsar, Semnan Province, Central Iran Iran J Parasitol, 5(4): 37-41.

[7] Beiromvand, M., L. Akhlaghi, S.H. Fattahi Massom, A.R. Meamar, A. Motevalian , H. Oormazdi, E Razmjou, 2013. Prevalence of zoonotic intestinal parasites in domestic and stray dogs in a rural area of Iran. Prev Vet Med, 109(1-2): 162-7.

[8] Mirzaei, M., M. Fooladi, 2012. Prevalence of intestinal helminthes in owned dogs in Kerman city, Iran. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 735-737

[9] Abdi, J., M. Darabi, K. Sayehmiri, 2012. Epidemiological situation of toxocariasis in Iran: meta-analysis and systematic review. Pak J Biol Sci., 15(22):1052-5.

[10] Zare-Bidaki, M., I. Mobedi, S. Sadeghieh Ahari, S. Habibizadeh, S.R. Naddaf, M.R. Siavash, 2010. Prevalence of Zoonotic Intestinal Helminths of Canids in Moghan Plain, Northwestern Iran. Iranian J Parasitol, 5(2): 42-51.

[11] Meshgi, B., A. Eslami, A.R. Bahonar, M. Kharrazian-Moghadam and A. Gerami-Sadeghian, 2009. Prevalence of parasitic infections in the red fox [Vulpes vulpes] and golden Jackal [Canis aureus] in Iran. Iranian Journal of Veterinary Research, 10(4): 29.

(1) Farzad Parsa, (2) Hossein Vosoghi and (3) Mohsen Razani

(1) Deparment of Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Para-Medicine, Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Broujerd, Iran.

(2) Department of Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of veterinary medicine, Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Broujerd, Iran.

(3) Deparment of nursing, Faculty of Para-Medicine, Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Broujerd, Iran.

Corresponding Author: Farzad Parsa, Department of Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Para-Medicine, Broujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Broujerd, Iran.

Tel: +98-662-3500201; Fax: +98-662- 3518013; E-mail:
Table 1: Helminth parasites isolated from 80 stray dogs in
Lorestan province of Iran.

parasite                  Khoram--abad       Broujerd

                          number   percent   number   percent

Echinococcus granulosus     10       46        6        27
Taenia hydatigena           8        29        8        29
Taenia multiceps            4        20        10       50
Dipylidium spp.             14       37        14       37
Joyeuxiella spp.            --       --        4        100
Ancylostoma caninum         --       --        --       --
Toxocara canis              2        25        4        50
Toxascaris leonine          2        14        4        29
Rictularia spp.             --       --        --       --
Oncicula spp.               --       --        1        100

parasite                  Dorod              Poldokhtar

                          number   percent   number   percent

Echinococcus granulosus     2         9        4        18
Taenia hydatigena           6        21        6        21
Taenia multiceps            --       --        6        30
Dipylidium spp.             4        10        6        16
Joyeuxiella spp.            --       --        --       --
Ancylostoma caninum         --       --        2        0/2
Toxocara canis              --       --        2        25
Toxascaris leonine          2        14        6        43
Rictularia spp.             --       --        1        100
Oncicula spp.               --       --        --       --

parasite                  Rate of infection total

                          number   percent

Echinococcus granulosus     22      27.5
Taenia hydatigena           28       35
Taenia multiceps            20       25
Dipylidium spp.             38      47.5
Joyeuxiella spp.            4         5
Ancylostoma caninum         2        2.5
Toxocara canis              8        10
Toxascaris leonine          14      17.5
Rictularia spp.             1        2.5
Oncicula spp.               1        2.5
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Author:Parsa, Farzad; Vosoghi, Hossein; Razani, Mohsen
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 15, 2014
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