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Five genera of potentially zoonotic bacteria and parasites were detected in environmentally collected fecal samples from a remote indigenous community in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Organisms identified include Toxocara canis, Echniococcus granulosus, Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Campylobacter spp. The prevalence and intensity of Giardia spp. and Campylobacter spp. in fecal samples was particularly remarkable. Three-quarters of samples tested contained at least one zoonotic species of Campylobacter, and C. jejuni-containing feces had an average of 2.9 × 105 organisms/g. Over one-half of samples tested contained Giardia spp. with an average of 9,266 cysts/g. Zoonotic G. duodenalis Assemblage A was the only Giardia spp. genotype identified. These data suggest that canine feces have the potential to pose a significant health risk to Canadians in rural and remote indigenous communities.
Financial support: This study was supported by the Division of Infectious Diseases, Royal University Hospital and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Interprovincial Graduate Fellowship for Veterinarians.
Authors' addresses: Chelsea G. Himsworth, N. Jane Harms, and Frederick A. Leighton, Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Bonnie Chaban, Emily Jenkins, Brent A. Wagner, and Janet E. Hill, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. R. C. Andrew Thompson, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Molecular Epidemiology of Parasitic Infections, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia, E-mail: email@example.com. Stuart Skinner, Division of Infectious Diseases, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, E-mail: Stuart.Skinner@saskatoonhealthregion.ca.