Toxocariasis in urban environment of western Slovakia

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Abstract

The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of toxocariasis in Bratislava and smaller towns in western Slovakia. During 2006–2011, sand samples collected from 121 sandpits were investigated: 63 sandpits were from Bratislava City and 58 from sandpits in towns outside Bratislava (Malacky, Pezinok Stupava). In Bratislava, 27% of examined sandpits were contaminated with Toxocara spp. eggs. In smaller towns eggs of Toxocara spp. were found from three sandpits (6.8 %) of Pezinok and Stupava only. In Malacky, no faeces and no eggs were found in any sandpits. Faecal samples of 1436 dogs and 263 cats were investigated. T. canis eggs were found in the faeces of 16.5 % dogs and T. cati in 18.6 % of examined cats. Toxocariasis of dogs was significantly higher in smaller towns such as the city Bratislava (χ2 = 10.88 for P ≤ 0.001). The difference in prevalence of T. cati in cats bred in Bratislava and outside Bratislava was not confirmed (P ≤ 0.05). 382 pregnant women were examined by ELISA. Anti-Toxocara antibodies were detected in 32 women (8.4 %). The difference in seroprevalence of women coming from Bratislava (6.6 %) and smaller towns outside Bratislava (11.0 %) was not statistically significant (χ2 = 1.6; P ≤ 0.05).

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