Gastrointestinal parasites in domestic cat (Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758) in Oran, Algeria: emergent zoonotic species and associated risk factors
Keywords:Domestic cats, Prevalence, Toxocara cati, Risk factors, Oran
Among protozoa and helminths parasites of the cat’s digestive tract, some constitute a problem for public health, due to their zoonotic potential. An identification of gastrointestinal parasites is therefore necessary to control their distribution. The aims of the present study were to determine prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in domestic cat in Oran, western Algeria, and to identify risk factors associated with parasitism. One hundred and two fecal samples were collected from 102 domestic cats during period from February to July 2021, and analyzed using two coprological technics, sucrose flotation and Ritchie method. Age, sex, breed, eating habits and lifestyle of each cat were recorded to identify risk factors by using a bivariate test, Chi2 test. Sixty-two (60.8%) cats were infected with at least one intestinal parasite. Six species were identified: Toxocara cati (43.1%), Dipylidium caninum (15.7%), Toxascaris leonina (7.8%), Cystoisospora rivolta (5.9%), Giardia duodenalis (2%) and Cystoisospora felis (1%). The occurrence of co-infections was observed in 13.7% of cats. Young age, hunting behavior, outdoors access and raw chicken meat consummation are identified as factors significantly linked to contamination by gastrointestinal parasites. The findings showed that there is a significant infestation of domestic cats by the parasitic helminths, such as Toxocara cati, wich has a major public health impact. This suggests that immediate action may be carried to reduce infection rates in cats by implementing preventive antiparasitic treatments and to sensitize cats owners about zoonotic diseases risk.