Dientamoeba fragilis: the prevalence among Dutch dogs
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Dientamoeba fragilis is a parasite that inhabits the human gastrointestinal tract. Many researches have been done to investigate the details about its lifecycle, epidemiology and pathogenicity. The clinical significance of the presence of D. fragilis is uncertain, but there are Dutch children who suffer from recurrent gastrointestinal problems who only test positive on the presence of D. fragilis. Discussion between Dutch pediatricians and Dutch general practitioners about the possible transmission route let to the consensus that the household dog could be a reservoir or transport host of D. fragilis. The aim of this study is to establish the prevalence of D. fragilis among two populations of Dutch household dogs, either with or without gastrointestinal symptoms. This study tested 326 fecal samples of 317 Dutch household dogs with RT-PCR on the presence of D. fragilis. Two dogs tested positive on the presence of Dientamoeba. This is the first study ever that detected D. fragilis in the feces of dogs.