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ZOONOTIC POTENTIAL OF ANCYLOSTOMOSIS AND ITS PREVALENCE IN STRAY AND PET DOGS OF LAHORE METROPOLITAN.

Byline: K. Ashraf, M. A. Hafeez, A. Maqbool, Z. I. Chaudhary, M. S. Khan and M. F. Rasool

Keywords: Prevalence, Dog, Zoonosis, Ancylostomosis, Lahore.

INTRODUCTION

Intestinal parasites are among the most common pathogenic agents encountered by veterinarians dedicated to companion animals. They constitute one of the main causes of pathologies of the intestinal tract in dogs. Keeping this point in view, some of the dog parasites, such as Ancylostoma (A.) spp. and Toxocara (T.) canis are considered to have a substantial public health concern, particularly in different communities and low income countries that are socioeconomically deprived. In these societies, overcrowding and poor hygiene conditions, together with the lack of zoonotic awareness and limited veterinary attention, increase the chances of disease transmission (Craig and Macpherson, 2000: Bradbury et al. 2017). Ancylostomosis (hookworm disease) is bestowing worldwide and zoonotic in nature. The Ancylostoma caninum parasitizes dogs throughout the subtropics and tropics, as well as considered to be most widespread of all hookworm species.

Due to its zoonotic importance and above high prevalence, A. caninum has attained vital significance in public health research and in veterinary field. In recent years, the apprehension that A. caninum causes human gut diseases hence sparked off interest in its zoonotic potential (Obiukwu and Onyali, 2006). Ancylostomosis arises in temperate and warm climates, specifically in that environment where there is adequate moisture. Uncinaria stenocephala and A. caninum infections are comparatively common in pups, although the former is much more frequent (Krishnabhanu and Vardhani, 2013: Li et al. 2014: Liu et al. 2015: Ana et al. 2018). The most pathogenic specie of all hookworms in pet animals is A. caninum. The primary clinical signs of Ancylostomosis include loss of appetite, progressive anemia, oedema of dependent parts, emaciation, hemorrhagic diarrhea and death (Lamb et. al. 2012).

The pet and stray dogs play a key role in disease transmission, although in each population precise implication are not clearly recognized. The transmission of zoonotic helminth scan occurs via indirect or direct contact with infected water and food (Aguilar et al. 2005: Rehman, et al. 2017: Ana et al. 2018). The present study was conducted to derive, over all prevalence of Ancylostomosis in and around the University of Veterinary and Animal sciences as well as nearby vicinity of Lahore keeping in view the metrological data of different month, season, age and sex. The essential prophylactic measures to be adopted to rescue the human beings from the disease and shielding dogs from hookworm infection.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The study was carried out at Lahore, capital city of province Punjab, to determine the overall prevalence rate of Ancylostomosis in dogs. The time period of the investigation was 12-month from August 2015 to July 2016. The metrological data (temperature, humidity) was collected from the Metrology Department, Government of Pakistan, Lahore during the time of study. A total of 600 fecal samples were collected round the year from dogs that were brought for treatment to the Pet Center, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore. Signalement and history of each study animal was recorded on pre-designed proforma. After collection of faecal samples aseptically, coprological examination was done by a method called modified McMaster technique (Levine et al. 1960: Soulsby, 2005). The season, age, sex wise and overall prevalence in dogs were studied during the period.

Zoonotic potential of this parasite was determined by examining the possibility of disease transmission in human i.e. 1) soil samples of various parks and greenbelts/foot paths of Lahore City and the lawns of pet owners for the presence of larvae of Ancylostomes and 2) prevalence of ancylostome ova in the fecal samples of pet owners and those individuals that frequently visited the above mentioned public parks of Lahore City. To check the prevalence of L3 larvae of Ancylostomes, approximate 120 soil/grass samples were taken from five public parks of the study area (Nasir Bagh, Bagh-a-Jinnah, Ghulam Jillani Park (Race Course Park), Gulshan-a-Iqbal Park, Iqbal Park (Minto Park), two green belts/footpath (Bhatti Gate and Chouburji Centre) and the home gardens of pet owners. The soil/grass samples were processed for the presence of L3 larvae by using a Harada Mori filter strip culture method (Levine et al. 1960: Soulsby, 1982).

Statistical Analysis: The prevalence data was statistically analyzed by using Chi square (I2) test. IBM SPSS 20.0software was used for applying I2 test (Steel and Torrie 1997).

Table 1. Monthly mean maximum and minimum temperatures, Rain Fall and Humidity of Lahore City during the year 2015-2016.

###Temperature (AdegC)###Mean Humidity (%)

Month###Mean Maximum###Mean Minimum###Rain Fall###08.00 a.m.###05.00 p.m.

###Temperature###Temperature###(mmA3)

Aug. 2015###38.9###28.9###146.7###78###68

Sep. 2015###36.4###26.9###158.4###74###56

Oct. 2015###32.8###22.8###47.8###72###50

Nov. 2015###23.8###18.2###09.6###82###56

Dec. 2015###21.6###10.8###31.2###86###58

Jan. 2016###20.8###08.6###01.8###80###42

Feb. 2016###21.6###12.8###102.6###88###62

Mar. 2016###24.6###16.6###68.4###76###46

Apr. 2016###37.8###23.9###01.8###48###24

May. 2016###39.8###28.2###20.6###44###26

Jun. 2016###46.4###28.6###198.6###58###42

July. 2016###38.6###26.8###84.8###78###60

Table 2. Comparison of prevalence of Ancylostomes and other helminths in dogs based on different seasons.

Season###Ancylostomes###Other helminthes

###Positive###Prevalence (%)###Positive###Prevalence (%)

Summer (n =200)###62###31###88###44

Winter (n = 200)###30###15###24###12

Total (n = 400)###92###23###112###28

Table 3. Comparison of prevalence of Ancylostomes and other helminths based on different age groups.

Age groups###Ancylostomes###Other helminthes

###Positive###Prevalence (%)###Positive###Prevalence (%)

01-06 month (n = 180)###51###28.33###55###30.55

07-11 month (n = 120)###38###31.66###37###30.83

01-06 years (n = 190)###28###14.73###35###18.42

>06 years (n = 110)###16###14.54###20###18.18

Total (n = 600)###133###22.16###147###24.50

Table 4. Comparison of prevalence of Ancylostomes and other helminths in male and female dogs.

sex groups###Ancylostomes###Other helminthes

###Positive###Prevalence (%)###Positive###Prevalence (%)

Male (n =347)###73###21.03###92###26.51

Female (n = 253)###51###20.15###54###21.34

Total (n = 600)###124###20.66###146###24.33

Table 5. Comparison of prevalence of Ancylostomes larvae in different parks, green belts and home gardens of Lahore City.

Green belts###Larvae of Ancylostomes

###Positive###Prevalence (%)

Parks (n = 600)###140###23.33

Green belts (n = 240)###54###22.50

Home gardens (n = 120)###34###28.33

Table 6. Cumulative prevalence of Ancylostomes in pet owners based on different age Groups.

Age groups###No. of samples###Ancylostomes

###Positive###Prevalence (%)

5-10 years###86###44###51.16

10-25 years###80###28###35.00

>25 years###84###20###23.80

Total###250###92###36.8

RESULTS

The data regarding temperature, humidity and rain fall of the study period was collected from Department of Meteorology, Government of Pakistan. In August, 2015, the mean minimum and maximum temperatures were 28.9AdegC and 38.9AdegC respectively. The total rainfall during the year 2015-2016 was 872.4 mmA3.The highest rainfall was recorded in June, 2016 followed by September (198.6 and 158.4 mmA3 respectively).The humidity was higher in February and December.

Prevalence of Ancylostomes: The prevalence was recorded in both pets and stray dogs when the faecal samples were processed for the identification of ova.

i) Pet dogs: During the period of study, dogs examined (n=600), 133 (22.16%) were found positive for Ancylostomes, while 24.50% of dogs were infected with other helminthes (Table 3). The Ancylostomes was more (p < 0.05) abundant in Summer Season as compared to winter season (Table 2). There was a significant difference regarding the prevalence of Ancylostomes parasites in dogs of different age groups. The parasites were more prevalent (Chi square; p 0.05) between male (39.8%) and female (38.9%) in pet owners.

Age related variation was noted for the prevalence of Ancylostomes in the faecal samples of visitors. The prevalence was statistically significant (p < 0.05) in the children compared to adults. In children (5-10 years old), the ova were found more frequently (p < 0.001) (Table 6). The Prevalence of disease in human beings especially in kids is suggestive of the zoonotic potential of the malady which may be due to, either by interaction with the dogs i.e. playing in home gardens/parks or by other vectors containing the contaminated soil.

DISCUSSION

Pets offer significant benefits to our society. However, they got infected with bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic diseases, and can be a source of infections for humans (Plaut et al., 1996; Geffray, 1999). The potential health risk to humans due to enteric parasites, harbored by pet dogs and cats, remains a significant problem in most parts of the world (Schantz, 1994). Numerous surveys have been conducted in countless areas of the world to examine the prevalence rate of various intestinal parasites in dogs such as in Mexico (Aguilar et al., 2005), Venezuela (Ramirez-Barrios et al., 2004), South Africa (Minnaar et al., 2002) and in Hungary (Fok et al., 2001).These studies display base line awareness of parasitic infections on an indigenous level.

Majority of authors evaluated parasite prevalence association in dogs in relation to gender, age and breed, but some researcher's also focused on diversity index and seasonal variations for further comprehensive analysis (Oliveira-Sequeira et al., 2002; Aguilar et al., 2005). These studies revealed variation in the results attributable to various environmental factors, geographical variation, species composition and other stress factors involved in parasite transmission. The overall prevalence rate found was 22.16% (133/600) in this study, which has similarity with the prevalence rate of Ancylostomosis detected through the fecal examination of dogs by Jani et al. 1995(26.9%), Oliveira-Sequeira et al. 2002(23.6%), Ramirez et al. 2004(24.5%), Singh et al. 2011 (19.32%), Qadir et al. 2011 (17.84%) and Gugsa et al. 2015(24%). However, the results of this study are higher than that of Godara et al. (2010) which is comparatively low (13.30%).

The prevalence rate of A. caninum in feces in our study is also much greater (22.16%) as compared to the rate (3.22%) found in contaminated soil by Ali et al. 2013 which may be due to the data collected in different seasons (throughout year and from different type of places i.e. Home gardens, Green belts and Parks). As for as seasonal prevalence of Ancylostomosis is concerned, it was found highest in summer (31%) followed by winter (15%).These findings were similar with those found in the study conducted in Anand district of Gujrat, India by Nilima et al. 2015. High prevalence in summer may be due to relatively more rainfall and higher environmental temperature as both temperature and humidity are important factors in the release of Larvae from the eggs (Mitra et al. 1990). Higher Temperature errands the development of eggs of hookworm and subsequently development of the third stage infective larvae as well as the bionomics of hookworm larvae.

Almost similar rate of prevalence for Ancylostomosis was found in both sexes (Male 21.03% and Female 20.15%) in the present study. This is not in accordance with the studies conducted by Mitra et al. (1990) and Oliveira-Sequeira et al. (2009) in which high prevalence was recorded in adult males as compared to that in adult females may be due to the different pathophysiology of worms in the two genders (Schmidt et al. 2016). The prevalence of Ancylostomosis during first year of life was much higher. However, later on it gradually decreased with an increase in age. Similarly, Sowemimo and Asaolu (2008) conducted a survey to determine prevalence of Ancylostoma spp. in dogs of age Group ranging 0-6 months, which shows highest prevalence of Ancylostoma spp. in young age dogs and our results are in agreement with them.

However, the results were not in coherence with those of Das et al. (2009) who reported that the hookworm infections were common in the age group of 2 months to 6 years (26.48%) in pet dogs could be due to lower immunity in young pups and trans-placental infection as well as trans-mammary transmission of Ancylostoma eggs (Lefkaditis 2001; Ramirez-Barrios et al. 2004) as well as poor sanitary conditions and contamination of soil (Parks, Gardens and Green belts) with infected faces. Upgrading the sanitary conditions and education of dog owners may condensed the prevalence of Ancylostoma spp. in dogs as well as regular treatment of pets may prevent potentially more severe outbreak of the zoonosis as by Olivera et al. (1990) Control of human infections sling on liable pet ownership. Dogs should be scanned periodically for intestinal parasites and recommended anthelmintic drugs on a regular basis.

Pet owners should not permit their dog's feces to accumulate in the lawn or garden (disposed of in a good sanitary way). Education and awareness concerning intestinal parasites and their effects on the health of both their pets and family members may be organized.

Conclusion: Present project exhibit that the incidence of A. caninum is increased in the summer season than winter season. This may be due to the optimum humidity and temperature required for growth of eggs and third stage infective larvae set up in summer season. These ambient necessities favor the bionomics of hookworm larvae. As per the age group is concerned, old age group also have decreased rate of infection compared to young ones due to their good immune status comparing the later. We recommend that development of preventative chemotherapy in the absence of concurrent hygiene and animal health programs is a probable causal factor for the advent of this zoonosis. Responsiveness must be focused to the effects of hookworm infections on human health, and a One Health slant should be implemented for the control of this zoonosis

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Publication:Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences
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