Your dog may be the transmitting agent of a disease such as hydatidosis or the syndrome of larva migrans visceral and eye -which can lead to blindness – is not an image easy to associate with that dear companion meneador tail that greets you every day.
However, in Bariloche, -and it may be assumed that in several localities of the region – it is a fact indisputable from the research that is carried out since 2013 in the Laboratory of Parasitology of Inibioma (UNCo – Conicet).
“The finding is most troubling is that in all of the sampling that we did in neighborhoods with high percentages of unmet basic needs, we find that there are dogs parasitized with Echinococcus, which is the causative agent of hydatidosis, and hence there is the risk to people of contracting the disease from dogs urban” sums up the doctor in Biology, Gustavo Viozzi.
The team that leads has proven the presence of different parasites collected from the poop of the dogs, in the streets and different public spaces. Research involving other departments of the UNCo (Statistics and Nursing) and also the local hospital and the Regional Unit for Environmental Health.
Q. What results were obtained? A. The parasites most frequently found are nematodes, or round worms such as Trichuris vulpis and Toxocara canis. Of these which is zoonotic, i.e. transmissible to man, is Toxocara, since the accidental ingestion of their eggs produces what is called the “syndrome of larva migrans visceral and eye” a product of the migration that performs the larva in the human body, which eventually can stay for example in the eye and produce blindness.
We also find in many of the neighborhoods, feces canine with eggs of the cestode Diphyllobothrium latum, which is a “tapeworm”, which also parasitizes man. In this case the dog is infected, just like people, eating meat of fish raw or undercooked. That is to say the dog is not contagious to humans but acts as a reservoir and disseminator of the parasite in the environment.
Q. What is the pathway of entry into the human parasites?
A. eggs, both of Echinococcus as of Toxocara entered accidentally through the mouth, then touch the dog, it can carry eggs in their fur, or by touching earth that had been in contact with feces of dogs infected.
The possibility of contagi0 -explained the specialist – is extensive to any site or object contaminated with the stool, such as toys, balls, walks, fences, pools of water, weeds, plants, or crops and orchards and also by the ingestion of contaminated produce.
Q. do you find much of the incidence of Echinococcus granulosus?
A. Making a generalization rude, we could say that approximately 10% of the faeces of dogs that we collected from the villages in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods are infected with eggs of that parasite.
Q. do The results found can be extrapolated to the rest of the neighborhoods barilochenses, we always talk about the dogs with access to the public road?.
A. No, you can’t extrapolate to all the barrios, we saw a strong association with the socio-economic characteristics of the districts, that is to say, the feces that collect in neighborhoods with socio-economic status high or middle, have values of infection much lower.
Keep the animal within the boundaries of own land, not be able to access freely to the street. That is to say, that when you go out to walk do it always with a belt, accompanied by the owner, who must, always, collect the poop of the dog with a bag and then dispose in the trash. This is the most important of all.
Vaccination and deworming.
Not to feed it with raw fish or offal, raw, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle.
Actions to produce a change
The research on the parasites present in the feces of dogs would not be left only in the results of the surveys.
With the cooperation of students of the bachelor’s degrees in Biology and in Nursing from the UNCo Bariloche will make dissemination activities of the problematic of the dogs in relationship to the health of the people.
Besides the usual speeches, there was a play called, “Fido, a dog care” that occurs in elementary schools, and also played in the days of the disclosure of the Inibioma conducted in the month of June.