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Descriptive Epidemiology Of Intestinal Helminth Parasites From Stray Cat Populations In Qatar

M.A. Abu-Madi, P. Pal, A. Al-Thani, J.W. Lewis

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AbstractA total of 488 stray cats, 212 adult and 29 juvenile females plus 235 adult and 12 juvenile males, were examined post-mortem during the winter and summer months of 2006 from five sites in the vicinity of Doha and its outskirts. Five helminths, comprising three nematode and two cestode species were identified and the majority of cats harboured two of these species. The most prevalent was the cestodeTaenia taeniaeformis(75.8%), followed by the cestodeDiplopylidiumsp. (42.8%), and the nematodesAncylostoma tubaeforme(17.0%),Physalopterasp. (6.6%) andToxocara cati(0.8%). All five species were found to be typically overdispersed in their distribution. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, the prevalence and abundance of infections were primarily influenced by host gender and season, with females tending to harbour higher levels of infection during the summer. No significant differences were found relative to site except in the case ofPhysalopterasp. Using bivariate Pearson product moment correlations, significant positive co-occurrences were identified betweenDiplopylidiumsp. andT. taeniaeformisand also betweenA. tubaeformeandT. taeniaeformis. The results are discussed in relation to the effect of environmental conditions on the intestinal helminth infracommunities and their possible interactions in stray cat populations from such a harsh and arid region as Qatar.