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The molecular characterisation of Giardia from dogs in southern Germany

Leonhard, S., Pfister, K., Beelitz, P., Wielinga, C. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2007) The molecular characterisation of Giardia from dogs in southern Germany. Veterinary Parasitology, 150 (1-2). pp. 33-38.

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Faecal samples were obtained randomly from asymptomatic dogs visiting veterinary clinics (kept individually) and sanctuaries (kept in groups) in southern Germany. Of 60 Giardia positive samples, 55 samples successfully amplified at the 18S rDNA locus. In both dogs kept individually and dogs kept in groups, assemblage A was most prevalent (overall, n = 33, 60%), followed by mixed infections with assemblages A&C (overall, n = 15, 27.3%), while assemblages C&D alone were less often detected (overall, n = 5, 9.1% and n = 2, 3.6%). The occurrence of zoonotic genotypes was more prevalent in individual than in group dogs. Genotyping at the gdh locus confirmed the 18S results and clustered the assemblage A isolates into A-I. This is the first large-scale urban survey in Central Europe, which has not only confirmed the high prevalence of Giardia in asymptomatic domestic dogs, but has also shown that the zoonotic assemblage A occurs commonly in domestic dogs living in urban environments, and more frequently than the dog-specific assemblage. Although it was not possible to obtain samples from pet owners in this study, the results demonstrate that a significant proportion of dogs in urban areas of southern Germany harbour zoonotic Giardia, and should thus be considered a potential reservoir for infection in humans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier B.V.
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