Stray Dogs Imposing Parasital Infection Health Risk for Children in Serbia

In recent times, Jelena G Raičević along with her research team uncovered the drastic changes occurring in the Serbian environment. The study published in The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries presented that canine feces were a leading source of soil contamination by intestinal parasites.

The biological cycle of the helminths closely relates to the changes in environmental conditions. Under favorable conditions, these disseminated eggs develop into protozoa. However,irrespective of feces presence, these eggs easily disseminate and remain vital, acting as an indirect source of transmission.

The team collected around 282 samples of soil samples from different public areas (ten kindergartens, six public squares and four parks) to determine the level of contamination in the soil in Kruševac, Serbia. The analyses were performed using direct smear and flotation. The team identified, “ the highest presence of Ancylostomatidae spp. in 113 (40.1%) samples along with other species including Toxocaracanis  (29.1%), Dipylidiumcaninum  (27.0%), and more.”The lead author further pointed out, “ astonishingly, 78 % sample grounds presented with positive samples of intestinal parasites eggs especially from  the kindergarten playgrounds.”

Jelena stated, “An increasing number of dogs in the surroundings can be assumed to be a contributing factor for this contamination, which imposes a high risk for humans as well as other animals.” Moreover, the team noticed that a large number of dogs were found compared to the size of the urban locality, which represented dogs as a true host for transmitting the parasite to others.

Thus, the author recommended, “ the public health department should take measures to control the number of stray dogs, encourage the dog owners to vaccinate, and do regular checkup along with monitoring the environmental hazards to reduce the risk for infection especially among the children from nearby grounds.

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