A survey on Toxocara cati eggs on the hair of stray cats: A potential risk factor for human toxocariasis in Northeastern Iran.


Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]


The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of Toxocara eggs on the hair of stray cats. The total number of stray cats trapped and included in the trial was 167 that were collected weekly from different residential areas of Mashhad, in northeastern Iran, from November 2016 to December 2017. Among the 167 cats, 18 (10.8%) of them were positive to T. cati eggs in their hair. In the positive cats, 7 (39%) were adult, 1 (6%) was juvenile and 10 (55%) were kittens. Overall, the mean number of eggs from positive cats was 3.9 ± 1.7 eggs per gram (epg) of hair per cat with an average of 3.1 ± 1.4 in adults, 4.9 in juveniles and 4.3 ± 1.6 in kittens. In total, 39.9% of the eggs recovered were non-viable 35.5% were viable, 22.2% were embryonating and 2.3% were embryonated which embryonated eggs were found only in juveniles. Based on our data, kittens were responsible for 61.7% of the total number of eggs. The age of the cat was found to be an important risk factor associated with parasitic infection.. This study showed that cat hair contaminated by T. cati eggs in different developmental stages represents of potential source for human toxocariasis.


Hair,Iran,Stray cat,Toxocariasis,Zoonosis,

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