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Parasitol Res. 2015 Dec;114(12):4579-90. doi: 10.1007/s00436-015-4704-8. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Parasites and vector-borne diseases in client-owned dogs in Albania. Intestinal and pulmonary endoparasite infections.

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Universiteti Bujqësor, Fakulteti i Mjekësisë Veterinare, Kodër Kamëz, Tirana, Albania.
Merial GmbH, Kathrinenhof Research Center, Walchenseestr. 8-12, 83101, Rohrdorf, Germany.
Institute of Comparative Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Leopoldstr. 5, 80802, München, Germany.
Merial GmbH, Kathrinenhof Research Center, Walchenseestr. 8-12, 83101, Rohrdorf, Germany.


From March 2010 to April 2011 inclusive, feces from 602 client-owned dogs visiting four small animal clinics in Tirana, Albania, were examined using standard coproscopical techniques including Giardia coproantigen ELISA and immunofluorescent staining of Giardia cysts. Overall, samples of 245 dogs (40.7 %, 95 % CI 36.6-45.6) tested positive for at least one type of fecal endoparasite (protozoan and/or helminth and/or pentastomid) stage, of which 180 (29.9 %, 95 % CI 26.3-33.7) and 129 (21.9 %, 95 % CI 18.2-24.9) tested positive for protozoan or nematode endoparasites, respectively. Fecal forms of at least 14 endoparasites were identified. The most frequently identified stages were those of Giardia (26.4 %), Trichuris (9.5 %), Toxocara (8.0 %), hookworms (7.1 %), Cystoisospora ohioensis (4.3 %), and Cystoisospora canis (3 %). For the first time for dogs in Albania, fecal examination indicated the occurrence of Hammondia/Neospora-like (0.2 %), Angiostrongylus lungworm (0.3 %), capillariid (2.8 %), and Linguatula (0.2 %) infections. Single and multiple infections with up to seven parasites concurrently were found in 152 (25.2 %, 95 % CI 21.8-28.9) and 93 dogs (15.4 %, 95 % CI 12.7-18.6), respectively. On univariate analysis, the dog's age, the dog's purpose (pet, hunting dog, working dog), the dog's habitat (city, suburban, rural), and environment (mainly indoors, indoors with regular outside walking, yard, kennel/run), presence/absence of other dogs and/or cats, history of anthelmintic use, and season of examination were identified as significant (p < 0.05) factors predisposing dogs to various types of endoparasitism while the variables breed (pure breed dogs vs. mixed-breed dogs), gender, and type of food were not significant predictors. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for factors associated with overall endoparasitism revealed that dogs >1 year of age (odds ratio [OR] = 0.64), dogs dewormed at least once per year (OR = 0.35), and dogs tested during spring, summer, and autumn (OR = 0.51, 0.15, and 0.20, respectively) had a significantly lower risk compared with ≤1 year old dogs, dogs not dewormed, or dogs tested during winter. The odds of a dog to be diagnosed positive for endoparasites was 1.56 times higher for dogs living together with other pets than that for a dog without other dogs or cats.


Angiostrongylus; Cestodes; Dog; Intestinal nematodes; Intestinal protozoans; Risk factors

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