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Free-roaming dogs in a Patagonian city: their distribution and intestinal helminths in relation to socioeconomic aspects of neighborhoods
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  • Verónica Flores,
  • Gustavo Viozzi,
  • Carlos Rauque,
  • Guillermo Mujica,
  • Eduardo Herrero,
  • Sebastián A. Ballari,
  • Luciano Ritossa,
  • Gabriela Miori,
  • Gilda Garibotti,
  • Daniela G. Zacharias,
  • Judith Treuque,
  • Elizabeth Chang Reissig,
  • Gabriela Vázquez,
  • Nora Pierangeli,
  • Lorena Lazzarini
Verónica Flores
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Gustavo Viozzi
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Carlos Rauque
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Guillermo Mujica
Gobierno de la Provincia de Rio Negro
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Eduardo Herrero
Gobierno de la Provincia de Rio Negro
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Sebastián A. Ballari
CONICET Patagonia Norte
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Luciano Ritossa
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Gabriela Miori
Instituto de Formación Docente Continua Bariloche San Carlos de Bariloche Argentina
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Gilda Garibotti
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Daniela G. Zacharias
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Judith Treuque
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche
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Elizabeth Chang Reissig
CONICET Patagonia Norte
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Gabriela Vázquez
Hospital Zonal Juan Ramon Carrillo
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Nora Pierangeli
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Facultad de Ciencias Medicas
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Lorena Lazzarini
Universidad Nacional del Comahue Facultad de Ciencias Medicas
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Abstract

Summary Human and dog health are inextricably linked, and although our relationship with dogs brings numerous benefits for our well-being , it is known that they can transmit disease. Bariloche is a Patagonian tourist city with heterogeneous social composition. This study evaluates the population of free-roaming dogs and their intestinal parasites in relation to the socioeconomic level of the city’s human population. Census areas were used as survey units, stratified in three levels according to socioeconomic status. The free-roaming dog population was estimated by walking around each census area. Eight fresh feces per census count area were collected and analyzed using coproparasitological flotation tests, and CoproELISA was used to detect Echinococcus sp. A total of 858 free-roaming dogs were registered along 40.9 km, with significant differences between socioeconomic strata: the highest numbers were found in the lowest income strata. Of the feces collected, 39.2% tested positive for parasites, those associated with a lower socioeconomic level having higher percentages of positive feces and a greater number of species. Eight species of helminths were found, some of which were zoonotic, such as Echinococcus sp., Toxocara canis, and Dibothriocephalus latus. The presence of parasites can be explained by dog size and the number of free-roaming dogs per block. The free-roaming dogs generally have owners, and their parasitic infection is strongly associated with the socioeconomic level of the population. The main problem is irresponsible pet care, which generates bad conditions for both dogs and humans. Thus, both dogs and humans deserve effective and ethical public policies.