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Prevalence of major digestive and respiratory helminths in dogs and cats in France: results of a multicenter study

Abstract : Background: The local distribution of helminths in dogs and cats and the evaluation of risk of contamination represent an important challenge for veterinarians due to their effects on animal health and their potential zoonotic risk. The overall goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of the digestive and respiratory helminths infecting client-owned dogs and cats in France. Methods: Faecal samples were collected from 414 pet dogs and 425 pet cats at 20 study sites during 2017-2018 and analysed by coproscopy. The samples included specimens collected from animals of both genders and various breeds and ages from a variety of living environments, and with different lifestyles and feeding regimes. Associations between parasitic infection and qualitative factors were explored. Results: Overall, 125 (14.9%) samples (15.2% in dogs and 14.6% in cats) were positive for at least one of the species of helminths identified. Infection rates were highest for Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati (8.5% and 11.3%, respectively), while Toxascaris leonina was found only in one cat (0.2%). The apparent prevalence of Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala in dogs was 1.7% and 4.3%, respectively. No hookworms were found in cats. Whipworms (Trichuris vulpis) were identified in 2.7% of the dogs. Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum and Taeniidae) were rarely found (< 1% in dogs and < 3% in cats). The prevalence of Angiostrongylus vasorum Crenosoma vulpis, and Strongyloides stercoralis in dogs, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in cats and Eucoleus spp. / Capillaria spp. in both dogs and cats was < 1%. Significantly higher fecal parasite emission rates were identified in young individuals, in animals with outdoor access, in animals living in the countryside and in intact animals (especially in cats). In addition, cats not fed exclusively with commercial diets and living with other animals (dogs and/or cats) were at higher risk for parasites. For dogs, hunting/herding and walking off-leash were found to be additional risk factors. Furthermore, pets with no reported history of deworming or dewormed > 1 year before the study were positive for parasites significantly more often than pets dewormed < 1 year before study participation. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of helminths (some of which are zoonotic), the risk factors and the reportedly low deworming frequencies identified in this study (20.5% animals having never been dewormed and only 26.4% dewormed ≥ 3 times/year) illustrate the need for improving pet owners' adherence to anthelmintic guidelines in France.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03770256
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 11:43:12 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 24, 2022 - 2:36:04 PM

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Gilles Bourgoin, Marie-Pierre Callait-Cardinal, Emilie Bouhsira, Bruno Polack, Patrick Bourdeau, et al.. Prevalence of major digestive and respiratory helminths in dogs and cats in France: results of a multicenter study. Parasites & Vectors, 2022, 15, ⟨10.1186/s13071-022-05368-7⟩. ⟨hal-03770256⟩

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