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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Dingo parasite a cause for concern in Indigenous communities

Date posted: 16 December 2013

Researchers have warned that Indigenous communities could be at risk of infection after they discovered the first report of a particular parasite, a hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum in dingoes in far north Queensland.

The parasite is common in dogs, cats and humans throughout Asia and to date has only been found in domestic dogs in Australia. Scientists from Western Australia and Queensland have recently published findings that suggest A. ceylanicum has the ability to cause infection that could lead to iron-deficient anaemia, with communities in wet, tropical climates at high risk.

James Cook University lead researcher Dr Felicity Smout says awareness needs to be raised in Indigenous communities, where dingoes are known to roam. 'These communities may be at particular risk due to limited management of domestic dog health and the presence of free–roaming community dogs that can be exposed to parasite eggs and larvae in soil contaminated by wild dogs.'

Source: ScienceNetwork Western Australia


Last updated: 17 December 2013
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