People, Pets, and Parasites: One Health Surveillance in Southeastern Saskatchewan

Abstract

 

Residents of remote and Indigenous communities might experience higher exposure to some zoonotic parasites than the general North American population. Human sero-surveillance conducted in two Saulteaux communities found 113 volunteers exposed as follows: Trichinella (2.7%), Toxocara canis (4.4%), Echinococcus (4.4%), and Toxoplasma gondii (1.8%). In dogs, 41% of 51 fecal samples were positive for at least one intestinal parasite, 3% of 77 were sero-positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, and 21% of 78 for T. gondii. Echinococcus exposure was more likely to occur in non-dog owners (odds ratio [OR]: 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2–107, P = 0.03); although T. canis was more likely to occur in children (ages 4–17) (OR: 49, 95% CI: 3.9–624; P = 0.003), and those with a history of dog bites (OR: 13.5, 95% CI: 1.02–179; P = 0.048). Our results emphasize the use of dogs as sentinels for emerging pathogens such as Lyme disease, and the need for targeted surveillance and intervention programs tailored for parasite species, cultural groups, and communities.

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6 Comments

  • Cathy says:

    I wonder if the harsh, frigid winter temps across the prairies inhibit tick population growth. Is it safer to live in places with very cold winters, from a Lyme perspective?

  • BethechangeIam says:

    Lyme disease is very much alive in Saskatchewan. I know now personally of two diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease.

  • ed says:

    i have been diagnozed with lyme disease which i got in late june at palliser park. anyone else infected in that area?

    • Al says:

      I was bitten in Northern Saskatchewan in July 2009 and fortunately found a doctor willing to treat Lyme. I know of another person in Outlook who has been treated for Lyme. The prevalence of ticks in the Outlook area is particularly invasive with daily reports of ticks being found on clothing.

      • Kevin says:

        Al,

        Can I have the name of the doctor from you and their location? Did you test positive for Lyme and if so, which test did you have done?

        Thanks, Kevin

        • Canlyme says:

          We do not post the names of doctors without their written permission. If you wish to find out more information contact us, CanLyme, at 250-768-0978