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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.46, No. 4, 2001, 337-338
Wedrychowicz Halina - Dogs, Zoonoses and Public Health, by C.N.L. Macpherson, F.X. Meslin and A.I.Wanderler.

W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland
BOOK REVIEW Dogs, Zoonoses and Public Health (Eds. C.N.L Macpherson, F.X. Meslin and A.I. Wanderler). CABI Publishing, 2000,
(xii + 382 pp.), ISBN 0 85199436 9
Zoonotic diseases constitute a public health problem throughout the world, particularly in the tropics, where their control is restricted by inadequate infrastructure and financial resources.
Additionally, there is a lack of information on their significance and distribution. The routes of transmission are various. Dogs, because of their close relationships with both adults and children may be an important source of human infections. These animals have special positions within many human communities and they are often treated as a companion without suspicion or reserve. Because reasons listed above the book that specifically examines zoonoses of dogs and considers the infections in both dogs and human should be very useful for the large number of readers.
"Dogs, Zoonoses and Public Health" in general, appears to have two major subjects. One deals with most important aspects of dog ecology and history of dog-man relationship.
The second concerns with biology and pathological effects of the infectious agents responsible for zoonoses of dogs. The book includes 12 chapters, which are authored by more than 20 scientists representing a variety of specialities. All the chapters include their own lists of references and could read as complete articles. The first two chapters discuss domestication of the dog, the various aspects of the human-dog relationship, dog ecology and population biology. Molecular structure, antigenic and genetic variations, pathogenesis, diagnosis and epidemiology of rabies virus are discussed in chapter 3. Bacteria species, which may be transmitted from dogs to humans, are discussed in the next chapter. Bites and scratches are the most common health hazards and result in localised infections.
Pasteurellosis, various aerobic and anaerobic infections, and cat-scratch disease are predominant.
Other infections are transmitted through cutaneous, mucous, digestive or respiratory routes, by direct contact with the pets excreta, or by arthropods. The most common are gastrointestinal infections with Campylobacter, Salmonella or Yersinia.
Five out of twelve chapters of the book (169 pages) are devoted to parasitic infections of the dogs which may be potentially dangerous for humans. In chapter 5: "Dogs and Protozoan Zoonoses" Richard W. Ashford and Karen F. Snowden listed more than 50 protozoan species which may infect dogs, however, only 20 of them are shared with man. At the end of the chapter the authors conclude ioas far as protozoan diseases are concerned the statement that domestic dog is a source of numerous diseases of humans is an overstatement. Only with Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum has the dog been shown to be an important source of human diseasesla.
More than 70 species of trematodes are mentioned in the next chapter "Dogs and Trematode Zoonoses". In contrast to the previous one, Ralph Muller focuses more on biology of the most important members of trematode superfamilies and clinical signs observed in humans. At the end of the chapter he concludes that for flukes, which are transmitted via fish or crab meat, the cats play much more important role as reservoir hosts than dogs. In the chapter "Dogs and Cestode Zoonoses" Calum Macpherson and Philip Craig focused mainly on epidemiology and public health importance of Echinococcus sp. infections in various part of the world. Toxocarosis, ancylostomosis, filariosis, toxascariosis, capillariosis, dioctophymosis, dracunculosis, gnathostomosis, thelaziosis and strongyloidosis are discussed in terms of mode of transmission, pathology in humans and dogs, diagnosis and control in the chapter "Dogs and Nematode Zoonoses" by Paul Overgaauw and Frans van Knapen. In a short chapter entitled "Dogs and Ectoparasitic Zoonoses" Cathy Curtis discusses biology, zoonotic implications and control of fleas, Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis, Cheyletiella spp. and Otodectes cynotis infections. In the chapter "Zoonoses and Immunosuppressed populations" Robert Robinson describes bacterial and parasitic infections occurring most often in immune deficient hosts like cryptosporidiosis, giardiosis, leishmaniosis and strongyloidosis. He also gives recommendations for preventive health care of dogs for immunocompromised persons. In the two final chapters the authors discuss management of dog populations and control of dog zoonoses. For a careful reader it is a little disappointing that some authors go much more into details than others do. For example, the clinical aspects of parasitic diseases in humans are discussed to a smaller extent in some section than in others. Moreover, a lot of protozoa and flukes listed in the book do not actually cause zoonotic diseases. On the other hand, fungal infections are almost completely omitted. Only a few sentences deal with this type of zoonotic agents in the section on immunosuppressed populations.
In spite of above criticisms the overall value of this book is remarkable. It brings under one cover a very important knowledge about the relationship between the ecology of canine populations, the human-dog relationship, the biology and potential pathology of zoonotic microorganisms, helminth and arthropods and their impact on a designation of strategies for the control of zoonoses. I recommend this book to students of both human and veterinary medicine as well as for public health workers.

Halina Wedrychowicz
W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology
Warszawa, Poland

KEY WORDS: Dogs, zoonoses, public health
Page compiled by Aleksander H.Kedra. Last modification: 25-01-2002