Objective: To investigate the occurrence of Echinococcus granulosus in rural domestic dogs in farming areas around Yass, New South Wales, and Mansfield and Whitfield, Victoria. Design: Faeces were collected per-rectally from farm dogs voluntarily presented by their owners in four farming districts in New South Wales and two in Victoria. Procedure: Faeces were collected in the field, an extract prepared from each sample and E granulosus coproantigens detected in an ELISA. Farmers were also questioned about their dog feeding and worming practices. Results: Echinococcus granulosus coproantigens were detected in 99 of 344 dogs (29%) from 95 farms in south eastern New South Wales and 38 of 217 dogs (17.5%) from 43 farms in Victoria. Cross-reactions between E granulosus coproantigen trapping antibody and coproantigens in faeces from dogs monospecifically infected with other species of intestinal helminthes (Taenia ovis, Thydatigena, Tpisiformis, Spirometra ericacei, Dipylidium caninum, hookworm, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis) were not evident. Dietary and worming data revealed many owners fed raw meat and occasionally offal from domestic livestock and wildlife to their dogs and few owners wormed their dogs frequently enough to preclude the chance of patent E granulosus being present in their dogs. Conclusion: Echinococcus granulosus occurs commonly in rural dogs in south eastern Australia and an education program promoting the public health importance of responsible management of rural dogs is urgently needed.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Australian Veterinary Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2006|