Parasitic zoonoses: one health surveillance in northern Saskatchewan

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(3):e2141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002141. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Abstract

We report the results of a joint human-animal health investigation in a Dene community in northern Saskatchewan, where residents harvest wildlife (including moose, bear, elk, and fish), live in close contact with free roaming dogs, and lack access to permanent veterinary services. Fecal analysis of owned and free-roaming dogs over two consecutive years (N = 92, 103) identified several parasites of public health concern, including Toxocara canis, Diphyllobothrium spp., Echinococcus/Taenia, Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. Administration of pyrantel pamoate to a subset of dogs (N = 122) in the community in the first year was followed by reduced shedding of T. canis and other roundworms in the second year, demonstrating the potential utility of canine de-worming as a public health intervention. Using direct agglutination tests with confirmatory indirect fluorescent antibody test, 21% of 47 dogs were sero-positive for exposure to Toxoplasma gondii. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) sero-prevalence rates in 201 human volunteers were as follows: Toxoplasma gondii (14%), Echinococcus granulosus (48%), Toxocara canis (13%) and Trichinella spp. (16%). Overall 65% of participants were sero-positive for at least one parasite. A survey administered to volunteers indicated few associations between widely accepted risk factors for parasite exposure and serological status, emphasizing the importance of environmental transmission of these parasites through soil, food, and waterborne routes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasites / immunology
  • Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Parasitic Diseases / parasitology*
  • Saskatchewan / epidemiology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Young Adult
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*
  • Zoonoses / parasitology*

Grant support

This research has been funded by the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Public Health and the Agricultural Rural Ecosystem (PHARE), and Partner Institutes including the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research, Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, Institute of Infection and Immunity, and the Institute of Population and Public Health, and by the University of Saskatchewan. Additional support was provided by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Enhancement Fund, the Western Regional Training Program (CIHR-STIHR) and by the University of Saskatchewan New Faculty Graduate Student Fund. Operating and equipment funding was provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. (http://www.cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/trainingprograms/phare.php; http://www.usask.ca/; http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/branch-dirgen/fnihb-dgspni/index-eng.php; http://wrtc-hsr.ca/; http://www.shrf.ca/; http://www.innovation.ca/OurFunds/CFIFunds/LeadersOpportunityFund). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.