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Dog ownership, dog behaviour and transmission of Echinococcus spp. in the Alay Valley, southern Kyrgyzstan



Echinococcosis is a re-emerging zoonotic disease in Kyrgyzstan, and the incidence of human infection has increased substantially since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Domestic dogs are hosts of Echinococcus spp. and play an important role in the transmission of these parasites. The demography, ecology and behaviour of dogs are therefore relevant in studying Echinococcus spp. transmission. Dog demographics, roles of dogs, dog movements and faecal environmental contamination were assessed in four rural communities in the Alay Valley, southern Kyrgyzstan. Arecoline purge data revealed for the first time that E. granulosus, E. canadensis and E. multilocularis were present in domestic dogs in the Alay Valley. Surveys revealed that many households had dogs and that dogs played various roles in the communities, as pets, guard dogs or sheep dogs. Almost all dogs were free to roam, and GPS data revealed that many moved outside their communities, thus being able to scavenge offal and consume rodents. Faecal environmental contamination was high, presenting a significant infection risk to the local communities.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Cestode Zoonoses Research Group, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, M5 4WT Salford, UK. Tel: 44(0)161 295 4299. E-mail:


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