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Epidemiology of canine gastrointestinal helminths in sub-Saharan Africa

Chidumayo, Nozyechi Ngulube
Parasites & vectors 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 100
Ancylostoma, Dipylidium caninum, Taenia, Toxocara, Trematoda, control methods, deworming, dietary protein, dog diseases, dogs, epidemiology, gastrointestinal system, health status, helminths, humans, larva migrans, meta-analysis, models, pathogens, planning, public health, risk, Sub-Saharan Africa
BACKGROUND: Dogs have a close association with humans providing companionship, security and a source of dietary protein. However, dogs are also potential carriers of zoonotic pathogens. Dogs, therefore, pose a public health risk and a good understanding of canine diseases is important for planning and implementing control measures. The aim of this study was to characterise canine helminthiasis in sub-Saharan Africa using a systematic approach. METHODS: Pubmed and Google Scholar were searched for relevant primary studies published from 2000. Forty-one eligible studies were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled prevalences were estimated using the quality effects model. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Twenty-six genera of enteric helminths were reported and the pooled estimate of canine helminthiasis was 71% (95% CI: 63–79%). Species of Ancylostoma and Toxocara, causative agents of larva migrans in humans, were the most frequently reported helminths with pooled estimated prevalences of 41% (95% CI: 32–50%) and 22% (95% CI: 16–29%), respectively. Dipylidium caninum and Taenia spp. were the most frequently reported cestodes with pooled estimated prevalences of 20% (95% CI: 12–29%) and 9% (95% CI: 5–15%), respectively. Trematodes were rarely reported. There was a high level of heterogeneity in most pooled estimates (I² ˃ 80%). The results of this study show that canine helminthiasis is highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and there is need for regular deworming programmes to improve the health status of the dogs and minimise the potential health risk to humans.