Prevalence of parasites, especially those with zoonotic potential, in wild dogs/dingoes in suburban fringe areas of Townsville (Queensland, Australia), Spring 2003, 28 p.
MetadataShow full item record
Necropsies were performed on 27 wild dogs professionally culled in the Townsville district of Australia between August and September 2002. The purpose of this study was to define the prevalence of parasitic infections present in the local wild dog population, with special focus on those of zoonotic potential, and to speculate as to the associated risks to the community's health. Collection of ectoparasites revealed the presence of one species of flea, Ctenocephalides felis (present in 35% of wild dogs in this study), and two genera of ticks, Amblyomma sp. and Haemophysalis sp. (60% and 47% of wild dogs infected, respectively). Four species of helminth were found in the intestines: Ancylostoma caninum (74% of sample population infected), Dipylidium caninum (59% of wild dogs infected), Spirometra erinacei (49% of wild dogs infected), and Echinococcus granulosus (22% of wild dogs infected). Dirofilaria immitis was present in the heart and pulmonary arteries of 75% of the adult dogs. Plasma from these dogs was also tested for dirofilariasis by two different methods, an ELISA and a commercially available kit. Results from a haemagglutination-inhibition test performed on these samples demonstrated antibodies to parvovirus in 27% of the dogs. It was concluded that encroachment of wild dogs into the suburban fringes of Townsville presents a low risk to public health and the health of adequately cared for domestic dogs.