Role of dog behaviour and environmental fecal contamination in transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis in Tibetan communities.

Abstract : SUMMARYOn the Eastern Tibetan Plateau region (Sichuan province, China) dogs are regarded as important definitive hosts of Echinococcus multilocularis. We studied dog spatial behaviour in 4 Tibetan villages in order to determine the role of dogs in environmental contamination and their potential interactions with small mammal intermediate hosts. We identified definitive host species and Echinococcus spp. infection status of feces collected in the field by PCR methods and analysed the spatial distribution of canid feces. Nocturnal space utilization of GPS collared dogs in and around villages was also undertaken. E. multilocularis DNA was amplified in 23% of dog feces (n=142) and in 15% of fox feces (n=13) but this difference was not significant. However, dog feces were more frequently observed (78% of collected feces) than fox feces and are therefore assumed to largely contribute to human environment contamination. Feces were mainly distributed around houses of dog owners (0-200 m) where collared dogs spent the majority of their time. Inside villages, the contamination was aggregated in some micro-foci where groups of dogs defecated preferentially. Finally, small mammal densities increased from the dog core areas to grasslands at the periphery of villages occasionally used by dogs; male dogs moving significantly farther than females. This study constitutes a first attempt to quantify in a spatially explicit way the role of dogs in E. multilocularis peri-domestic cycles and to identify behavioural parameters required to model E. multilocularis transmission in this region.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 26, 2011 - 1:57:26 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 5:04:01 PM

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Amélie Vaniscotte, Francis Raoul, Marie-Lazarine Poulle, Thomas Romig, Anke Dinkel, et al.. Role of dog behaviour and environmental fecal contamination in transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis in Tibetan communities.. Parasitology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2011, 138 (10), pp.1316-29. ⟨10.1017/S0031182011000874⟩. ⟨hal-00617172⟩

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