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Prevalence of faecal-borne parasites in colony stray cats in northern Italy

Prevalence of faecal-borne parasites in colony stray cats in northern Italy

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 15(8): 672-677

Endoparasitic infections are common in stray cats. Many of these parasites are responsible for zoonoses, and stray cats can be a source of environmental contamination. The prevalence of parasites in 139 stray colony cats in the city of Milan, northern Italy, was investigated by faecal examination. The overall prevalence of endoparasites was 50.4%, with 11 different parasites found. Parasites with zoonotic potential were detected in 49.6% of cats. Concurrent infections with two or more zoonotic parasites were recorded in 14.3% of cats. Among the parasites found, the most common was Toxocara cati (33.1%; P <0.0001). The other species found by coproscopic examination were: Ancylostoma tubaeformae (7.2%), Isospora species (4.3%), Trichuris vulpis (2.9%), Dipylidium caninum (2.9%), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (2.9%), Eucoleus aerophilus (syn Capillaria aerophila) (1.4%), Spirometra species (1.4%), Taenia pisiformis (0.7%) and Hymenolepis nana (0.7%). Coproantigen specific for Giardia duodenalis was detected in 2.9% of the samples. Pseudoparasites (eggs of mites) were found in 4.3% of the samples. No sample contained Toxoplasma gondii oocysts, despite the fact that 70 cats tested positive for T gondii-specific IgG antibodies, and none of the diarrhoetic samples tested positive for Cryptosporidium species oocysts. Variables linked to infection were body condition score (BCS), the presence of diarrhoea and infection with G duodenalis. Cats infected with G duodenalis were more likely to have a low BCS (odds ratio (OR) = 11.5, P = 0.02) and diarrhoea (OR = 30.7, P = 0.0007). The results of the present study confirm that endoparasitic infections, most of which have zoonotic potential, are distributed in stray colony cats of Milan.

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Accession: 055157760

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23329613

DOI: 10.1177/1098612X12473467

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