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Volume 62, Issue 2 (Jun 2017)


The role of domestic dogs in the transmission of zoonotic helminthes in a rural area of Mekong river basin

Marcello Otake Sato
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
  • Email:
/ Megumi Sato
  • Graduate School of Health Sciences, Niigata University, Niigata 951-8518, Japan
/ Tippayarat Yoonuan
  • Department of Helminthology Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
/ Tiengkham Pongvongsa
  • Station of Malariology, Parasitology & Entomology, Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR
/ Surapol Sanguankiat
  • Department of Helminthology Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
/ Sengchanh Kounnavong
  • National Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao PDR
/ Wanna Maipanich
  • Department of Helminthology Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
/ Yuichi Chigusa
  • Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
/ Kazuhiko Moji
  • School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan
/ Jitra Waikagul
  • Department of Helminthology Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Published Online: 2017-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2017-0047


Dogs have been bred since ancient times for companionship, hunting, protection, shepherding and other human activities. Some canine helminth parasites can cause significant clinical diseases in humans as Opisthorchis viverrini causing cholangiocarcinoma in Southeast Asian Countries. In this study, socio-cultural questionnaire, canine parasitological analysis, necropsy, parasite molecular confirmation and dog roaming data were evaluated in Savannakhet, Lao-PDR, a typical Mekong Basin area. Dog owners comprised 48.8% of the studied population, with 61.2% owning one dog, 25.1% 2 dogs, 8.5% 3 dogs and 1.8% owning more than 4 dogs. Data from GPS logger attached to dogs showed they walked from 1.4 to 13.3 km per day, covering an area of 3356.38m2 average, with a routine of accessing water sources. Thirteen zoonotic helminth species were observed. Causative agents of visceral and cutaneous larva migrans occurred in 44.1% and 70% of the samples respectively. Spirometra erinaceieuropaei was detected in 44.1% of samples. Importantly, O. viverrini was found in 8.8% of samples. Besides the known importance of dogs in the transmission of Ancylostoma spp., Toxocara spp. and S. erinaceieuropaei, the observed roaming pattern of dogs confirmed it as an important host perpetuating O. viverrini in endemic areas; their routine access to waterbodies may spread O. viverrini eggs in a favorable environment for the fluke development, facilitating the infection of fishes, and consequently infecting humans living in the same ecosystem. Therefore, parasitic NTDs control programs in humans should be done in parallel with parasite control in animals, especially dogs, in the Mekong River basin area.

Keywords: Eco-health; helminth zoonosis; GIS; NTDs; Laos; Monsoon; Mekong Basin; canines


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About the article

Received: 2016-11-10

Revised: 2016-12-28

Accepted: 2017-01-20

Published Online: 2017-04-18

Published in Print: 2017-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2017-0047. Export Citation

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