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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

A field survey on parasites and antibodies against selected pathogens in owned dogs in Lilongwe, Malawi

Alvåsen, Karin; Johansson, Sandra M.; Höglund, Johan; Ssuna, Richard; Emanuelson, Ulf


The aim of this study was to screen for selected parasites and antibody levels against vector-borne pathogens in owned dogs in Lilongwe, Malawi. The study population consisted of 100 dogs; 80 participating in vaccination-spaying campaigns and 20 visiting a veterinary clinic as paying clients. All dogs went through a general physical examination including visual examination for signs of ectoparasites. A total of 100 blood samples were analysed using commercial snap tests and 40 faecal samples by egg flotation in saturated sodium chloride. The sampled dogs had a seroprevalence of 12% for Anaplasma spp., 22% for Ehrlichia spp., 4% for Dirofilaria immitis and 1% for Leishmania spp. Eggs from Ancylostoma spp. were found in 80% of the faecal samples, whereas eggs of Trichuris vulpis, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina were only present in 3%, 8% and 13% of the samples, respectively. Ectoparasites such as Ctenocephalides sp., Trichodectes sp. and ticks were present on 98%, 25% and 11%, respectively, of the campaign dogs. Among client dogs, 35% had Ctenocephalides fleas, 10% had Trichodectes lice and none had ticks. Public education and prophylactic treatment could be used to improve the animal welfare of dogs; this would most likely also have positive impact on public health.

Published in

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association / Tydkrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Veterinere
2016, Volume: 87, number: 1
Publisher: AOSIS