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Ecology of domestic dogs Canis familiaris as an emerging reservoir of Guinea worm Dracunculus medinensis infection

Citation

McDonald, Robbie et al. (2020), Ecology of domestic dogs Canis familiaris as an emerging reservoir of Guinea worm Dracunculus medinensis infection, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vx0k6djnh

Abstract

Global eradication of human Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis) has been set back by the emergence of infections in animals, particularly domestic dogs Canis familiaris. The ecology and epidemiology of this reservoir is unknown. We tracked dogs using GPS, inferred diets using stable isotope analysis and analysed correlates of infection in Chad, where numbers of Guinea worm infections are greatest. Dogs had small ranges that varied markedly among villages. Diets consisted largely of human staples and human faeces. A minority of ponds, mostly <200 m from dog-owning households, accounted for most dog exposure to potentially unsafe water. The risk of a dog having had Guinea worm was reduced in dogs living in households providing water for animals but increased with increasing fish consumption by dogs. Provision of safe water might reduce dog exposure to unsafe water, while prioritisation of proactive temephos (Abate®) application to the small number of ponds to which dogs have most access is recommended. Fish might have an additional role as transport hosts for Guinea worm, by concentrating copepods infected with worm larvae.

Methods

Space use from GPS tracking of dogs. Stable isotope analysis of tissue samples from dogs (whiskers) and putative food items. Satellite imagery. Records of Guinea worm emergence. Other epidemiological data collected in the field in Chad.

Usage Notes

See ReadMe.txt

Funding

Carter Center