From 2004 to 2009, the digestive tracts of 111 dogs from suburban areas around Tirana, Albania, were examined for intestinal helminths. In addition, rectal faecal samples of all dogs were examined for protozoan infections and 48 faecal samples from dogs >6 months of age were processed with the Baermann technique to test for the excretion of lungworm larvae. The heart and pulmonary arteries of 30 dogs >6 months of age also were examined for nematode parasites. The intestinal parasite fauna of the dogs included three protozoan species (Cystoisospora canis, Cystoisospora ohioensis/burrowsi, Sarcocystis spp.), three cestode species (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia hydatigena, Echinococcus granulosus), five nematode species (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Trichuris vulpis) and one acanthocephalan (Centrorhynchus buteonis). Rates of infection were: 15.3% for C. canis, 31.5% for C. ohioensis/burrowsi, 1.8% for Sarcocystis spp., 65.8% for D. caninum, 16.2% for T. hydatigena, 2.7% for E. granulosus (genotype G1), 13.5% for A. caninum, 64.9% for U. stenocephala, 75.7% for T. canis, 0.9% for T. leonina, 21.6% for T. vulpis and 0.9% for C. buteonis. Up to six species of gastrointestinal parasites were found per dog. The 63 ≤ 6-month-old dogs harboured significantly (p<0.001) fewer gastrointestinal parasite species concurrently (mean 2.65 ± 1.25 species per animal) than the 48 older animals (mean 3.77 ± 1.45 species per animal). Dogs >6 months of age harboured significantly (p<0.05) more D. caninum, T. hydatigena, A. caninum, U. stenocephala and T. vulpis compared to younger dogs. Conversely, the younger dogs harboured significantly (p<0.001) more T. canis than the older ones. There was no difference in the male and female dogs' counts of individual intestinal helminth species apart from T. hydatigena in dogs >6 months of age: Male dogs harboured significantly (p<0.05) more tapeworms than female dogs. Based on faecal examination, there was no indication for lungworm infection; however, two adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) were found in the right ventricle of one dog.
One hundred eighty-one dogs and 26 short-hair cats from suburban areas around Tirana, Albania were examined for ectoparasite infestation. The dogs were examined on several occasions from 2005 through 2009 representing three seasons: winter (December-February), spring (March-May), and summer (June-August); the cats were examined in late autumn (November). In addition, deep ear swab specimens of 30 dogs were examined for ear mites. The arthropod ectoparasite fauna of the dogs included two tick species (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ixodes ricinus), three mite species (Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis, Otodectes cynotis, and Demodex canis), three flea species (Ctenocephalides canis, Ctenocephalides felis, and Pulex irritans), and one louse species (Trichodectes canis). In the dogs, rates of infestation were 23.8% for R. sanguineus, 0.6% for I. ricinus, 4.4% for S. scabiei var. canis, 6.7% for O. cynotis, 0.6% for D. canis, 75.7% for C. canis, 5.0% for C. felis, 8.3% for P. irritans, and 6.6% for T. canis. Mixed infestation with two or three species of ectoparasites was recorded on 38.1% of the dogs. Fleas infested 75.7% dogs (geometric mean, 3.96; range, 1-80) and were observed in winter, spring, and summer with increasing prevalences of 64.3%, 75.9%, and 100%. Ticks parasitized 24.3% of the dogs (geometric mean, 0.41; range, 1-331). R. sanguineus ticks were recorded on 34.2% and 50% of the dogs examined in spring and summer, respectively, but were absent on the dogs during winter except for a single I. ricinus specimen observed. Prevalence of infestation with R. sanguineus, S. scabiei var. canis, C. felis, P. irritans, and T. canis did not differ between dogs< or = 6 months and dogs > 6 months of age; however, prevalence of infestation with C. canis was significantly (p < 0.01) higher in dogs > 6 months old. There was no difference between the sexes for the prevalences of infestation with those parasites. The examination of the cats revealed infestation with only one species of ectoparasite, C. felis (prevalence, 100%; geometric mean, 2.5; range, 1-9).
Following the recovery of first-stage nematode larvae indicative of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection in the faeces of free-roaming cats from the greater Tirana area, examination of 18 cats at necropsy revealed nine of them harbouring adult A. abstrusus (Railliet, 1898) in the lungs (prevalence, 50%; range, 1-11). In addition to A. abstrusus, Eucoleus aerophilus (16.7%; 1-9) was isolated from the lungs, and Toxocara cati (83.3%; 2-33), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (44.4%; 1-20), Dipylidium caninum (83.3%; 1-164), Joyeuxiella pasqualei (11.1%; 1-3) and one specimen of an acanthocephalan (5.5%) were recovered from the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, oocysts of Cystoisospora felis and C. rivolta were found in the rectal faeces of 5.6% and 11.1% of the cats, respectively. In conclusion, the prevalence of endoparasite infection in free-roaming cats in Tirana can be considered to be high. The occurrence of A. abstrusus, which may cause respiratory distress in cats, is reported for the first time in Albania.
During 2008 to 2011, faecal samples, ear swabs, and ectoparasites obtained by full body search and total body comb were collected from 252 cats originating from the greater Tirana area. Faecal samples were examined using the McMaster and Baermann techniques, and a subset of 58 samples was tested for Giardia-specific antigen using a coproantigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The ear swabs were examined for the presence of parasitic mites. Overall, almost 93% of the cats were identified harbouring one or more parasites: 59.1% (95% confidence interval (CI), 53.0-65.0) and 86.9% (95% CI, 82.7-91.1) of the cats tested positive for ecto- or endoparasites, respectively; 53.2% of the cats had evidence for concomitant ectoparasite infestation and endoparasite infection. For ectoparasite infestation, prevalence was 52.0% for total fleas (Ctenocephalides felis, 51.2%; Ctenocephalides canis, 2.0%; and Leptopsylla segnis, 0.4%), 8.3% each for Felicola subrostratus and Otodectes cynotis and 4.0 % for Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato. The most prevalent endoparasites were Toxocara ascarids (48.0%), followed by Aelurostrongylus lungworms (39.7%), Capillaria spp. (31.7%), hookworms (32.9%), dipylidiid cestodes (27.8 %), Cystoisospora spp. (23.4%) and taeniid cestodes (2.0%). One animal was found shedding Pseudamphistomum truncatum eggs. Giardia-specific antigen was detected in 29.3% of the 58 cats tested. Mixed infections with up to six endoparasites concurrently (excluding Giardia) and mixed infestations with two or three species of ectoparasites were recorded in 73.1 and 22.8% of the parasite-positive cats, respectively. Cats ≤9 months of age were more frequently tested (p < 0.05) positive for Toxocara and Cystoisospora infections than cats >9 months while these cats tested more often (p < 0.05) Aelurostrongylus-positive compared with the younger cats. The prevalence of infestation with ectoparasites did not differ between the cats of these two age groups. Given the impact that some of the parasites may have upon animal health as well as the zoonotic potential of some of them, measures should be taken to minimise the transmission of these parasites.
Cadmium is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant of increasing worldwide concern. Cadmium accumulation occurs in various tissues and organs, with the most extensive accumulation in kidney cortex. This study analyzes some of cadmium effects on reproduction parameters of the females Cavia porcellus. Cadmium was applied by intraperitoneal injections in doses of 0.0005 mg/kg/day, 0.1148 mg/kg/day and 0.2177 mg/kg/day to the mature female Cavia porcellus. After 60 days, animals were killed and the samples of ovaries were prepared for optic microscope observations. The changes in the ovaries were compared with those of the healthy Cavia porcellus. The hormones secretion profile and cadmium accumulation were monitored weekly by analyzing blood samples. The increasing of Cadmium dose applied results in many pronounced histological damages in the ovary. Among the histological damages recorded were a high number of atretic follicula, arresting of their maturity, disruption of cell contacts, atrophy and disorganization of granulose cells, small corpus luteum with hemorrhagic processes. Increasing cadmium concentration reduces the secretion rate of estradiol (r = -0.962), progesterone (r = -0.83), FSH (r = -0.962), and increases the secretion of testosterone (r = 0.98) and LH (r = 0.697).
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