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Background: Zoonotic parasite species are those parasites of animal origin that can be transferred to human. They possess the threat of high infection rate among both animals and human and should be monitored carefully.
Aims: The current study aimed to determine the prevalence of zoonotic parasite species in cats and dogs from a prominent pet market of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Methodology: A total of 60 animals (30 dogs and 30 cats) were selected from different pet shops in Katabon pet market, Nilkhet, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The hosts were dogs of foreign breed; German Spitz, German Shephed (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats of local breed (Felis catus). They were age matched: Puppies/Kittens (≥6 months - 1 year), young (>1- 2 years) and adults (>2 - 3 years) for both dogs and cats. Feces were collected and Formol Ether concentration technique was done prior to identify parasite’s egg, ova and larvae by microscopy.
Results: We were able to identify 17 different parasite species of zoonotic importance in total 60 animals. 8 species were common in both animals (Taenia spp., Hymenolepis diminuta, H. nana, Ancylostoma spp., Ascaris lumbricoides, Capillaria spp., Toxascaris leonina and Trichuris vulpis). Apart from 8 common species, 2 more species were exclusively identified in dogs and 7 species in cats. Capillaria spp. had the highest prevalence in both dogs (86.67%) and cats (90%) followed by Trichuris vulpis (83.33% in dogs, 90% in cats). Other highly prevalent parasites in dogs were A. lumbricoides and Toxocara canis (prevalence 76.67% for both); in cats were - T. leonina, Toxocara cati, Sarcocystis spp. and Toxoplasma spp. (prevalence 76.67%, 73.33%, 60% and 60%, respectively). According to the age group of hosts, in both dogs and cats, puppies or kittens and young hosts had higher prevalence of parasites compared to adults.
Conclusion: Proper training should be given to pet handlers when handling the food/feces of pets to reduce the risk of zoonotic infection and mass people should be aware about the risk of zoonotic parasite species to avoid potential health hazards.
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