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J Parasit Dis. 2011 Oct;35(2):202-6. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

A survey on endoparasites and ectoparasites of stray cats from Mashhad (Iran) and association with risk factors.

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1
Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P.O. Box 9177948974, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

As there appeared to be no data available on parasite infection of stray cats in the region and considering the potential threat of stray cats for animal and public health, the present study was carried out using biological samples and necropsy finding collected from cats captured in Mashhad city in the northeast of Iran. From a total 52 stray cats examined, 18 (34.6%) were male and 34 (65.4%) were female. Ten species of endoparasites including helminthes and protozoa and two species of ectoparasites were detected in the examined cats. There were two protozoa, five cestodes, three nematodes and two arthropods. Overall 46 cats (88.46%) have been infected with at least one of the parasites. The following parasites, with their respective prevalence, were found; Nematoda: Toxocara cati 28.84%, Toxocara leonina 7.69%, Physaloptera praeputialis 3.84%; Cestoda: Dipylidium caninum 23.08%, Mesocestoides lineatus 13.46%, Taenia taeniaformis 9.6%, Joyeuxiella echinorhyncoides 7.6% and Taenia hydatigena 1.92%; Protozoa: I. felis 23.7%, Haemobartonella felis 1.92%; Arthropoda: Ctenocephalides felis 1.92% and Cheyletiella blakei 1.92%. Based on our data, there was no significant difference in infection rate between male and female animals. However, the age of the cats were found to be an important risk factor associated with parasitic infection. Our results revealed that zoonotic agents, namely T. cati were present in stray cat colonies in the investigated area. In this respect, appropriate control measures should be taken and it is recommended to determine the most appropriate preventive methods.

KEYWORDS:

Mashhad; Parasites; Prevalence; Risk factor; Stray cat

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