Dog echinococcosis in northern Spain: comparison of coproantigen and serum antibody assays with coprological exam.

Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 450, 01080 Vitoria, Spain.
Veterinary Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.38). 12/2006; 142(1-2):102-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.06.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A large sheep-dog population from the province of Alava (northern Spain) has been investigated in order to determine the prevalence of the cestode parasite Echinococcus granulosus. Worms were detected in 14.0% of 721 dog faecal supernatants by coproantigen ELISA, and in 9.1% of 754 dog serum samples by serum antibody ELISA. A weak but statistically significant correlation (Spearman's rho=0.103, 95% CI: 0.023-0.178) between the two immunoassay results was found. In addition, eggs of the family Taeniidae were detected in 10.3% of 726 faecal samples examined by coproparasitological (flotation and sedimentation) tests. The overall E. granulosus infection rate, based on a Bayesian latent class model that accounts for the imperfect sensitivities and specificities of all diagnostic tests used, was estimated to be 8.0% (95% credible interval: 5.4-11.4%), corroborating that sheep-dog is the dog class most vulnerable to acquiring the infection. Dog sex did not influence the prevalence of E. granulosus, independently of the diagnostic test used or the dog region of origin. No significant linear correlation was found between the coproantigen ELISA OD values and the dog age (Spearman's rho=-0.049, 95% CI: -0.234 to 0.135), suggesting that there were no differences in prevalence of E. granulosus between old and young dogs. The obtained results highlight the importance of initiating a control program based on regular treatment of the sheep-dogs with praziquantel in the province of Alava.

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