Introduction: Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati are roundworms of dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to investigate the infection caused by these ascarids in cats and dogs, using microscopic and molecular analysis methods.
Material and Methods: Adult ascarids were gathered from the faeces of dogs and cats in Van province, in 2015–2016. Existing keys and PCR sequencing of the ITS-2 fragment were used to identify the morphological features of the parasite species.
Results: It was observed that out of 20 adult ascarids, 17 and 3 were found to be Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati, respectively. The ITS-2 gene region was amplified by PCR to perform molecular analysis. Genotyping indicated that the dogs and cats were infected with T. canis and T. cati, respectively, and none had Toxascaris leonina.
Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the molecular characteristics of adult ascaridoid nematodes from cats and dogs in Turkey. The molecular approaches established in this study enable molecular identification and genetic structure studies of the ascaridoids.