Med. Weter. 76 (8), 441-445, 2020

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Ali Tumay GURLER, Cenk Soner BOLUKBAS, Aytac AKCAY, Gokmen Zafer PEKMEZCI, MUSTAFA AÇICI, Şinasi Umur
Role of cat and dog faeces in the contamination of sand playgrounds in public parks by Toxocara spp.
Toxocariasis is one of the most important parasitic zoonoses affecting human health. The main source of toxocariasis in humans is dog and cat faeces, which are primarily responsible for the contamination of urban areas with Toxocara spp. eggs. In this study, the relationship between dog or/and cat faeces and contamination of sand playgrounds in public parks with Toxocara spp. eggs was investigated. A total of 596 sand and 276 faecal samples (148 dog and 128 cat faeces samples) were collected from 52 public parks in Samsun. Toxocara spp. eggs were identified in 7% of sand samples, 33% of cat faeces samples and 9.5% and dog faeces samples. A positive correlation was found between the presence of faeces and the contamination of sand samples. The incidence of sand contamination was increased 8.3 times if a park contained dog or/and cat faeces, and the incidence was much greater if the faeces were infected with Toxocara spp. ova. Cat faeces had a greater effect on the contamination of sand than did dog faeces. The risk was 12.5 and 27 times greater if a park contained only cat faeces and infected cat faeces, respectively. However, no Toxocara spp. eggs were found in sand samples from parks that contained only dog faeces.
Keywords: Toxocariasis, public health, cat, dog, faeces, playground