Community level canine health assessment
Fung, Hou-Ming Lillian
MetadataShow full item record
Domestic dogs often serve as reservoir hosts for many zoonotic and wildlife pathogens. This study evaluates the role dog health plays in infectious disease transmission, particularly in areas of low economic status. This field study evaluates the health of domestic dogs in 3 rural communities in La Chorrera, Panama. From each dog, blood and fecal samples were collected to examine associations between poverty, wildlife, and zoonotic disease infection risk. Routine hematology (complete blood counts), body condition, and fecal helminth parasites were assessed. Dogs were also tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Canine Distemper Virus, and cytokine expression (Interferon-γ and Interleukin-10). This study concludes that isolated communities of lower economic status may have less healthy dogs with potentially increased risk to transmit zoonotic diseases to human and spillover to wildlife. Future directions include incorporating data collected from the field study into a transmission model to assess impact of body condition and coinfection on T. cruzi transmission.