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Vet Parasitol. 2010 Mar 25;168(3-4):284-92. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.11.027. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

Intestinal helminths of feral cat populations from urban and suburban districts of Qatar.

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Department of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.


A survey of the helminths of 658 adult cats from feral urban and suburban populations in Qatar was conducted across all months in 2006 and 2007. Six species of helminths were identified, comprising two cestodes (Taenia taeniaeformis [73.6%] and Diplopylidium acanthotetra [47.1%]) and four nematodes (Ancylostoma tubaeforme [14.7%], Physaloptera praeputialis [5.2%], Toxocara cati [0.8%] and Toxascaris leonina [0.2%]), and 83% of cats were infected with at least one of these. The average number of species harboured was 1.4 and the average worm burden was 55.8 worms/cat. The vast majority of worms (97.6%) were cestodes, nematodes being relatively rare. Prevalence and abundance of infections were analyzed, taking into consideration four factors: year (2006 and 2007), site (urban and suburban), season (winter and summer) and sex of the host. Analyses revealed marked year effects, female host bias in some species and interactions involving combination of factors, but especially sex and season of the year. The results indicate that whilst the majority of adult feral cats in Qatar carry helminth infections, infections are variable between years and subject to annual changes that may reflect climatic and other environmental changes in the rapidly developing city of Doha and its suburban surroundings. Only two species have the potential to infect humans and both were rare among the sampled cats (A. tubaeforme and T. cati).

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