In this study, the prevalence of Toxocara spp. was evaluated in the soil of 22 public playgrounds of Ancona (Italy). The public playgrounds were selected according to the different areal distribution (centre, low-lying areas centre, hilly areas suburbs) within the urban area of Ancona, central Italy. In six playgrounds there were signs restricting access for dogs; all of them were frequented by children. Parasites were found in the soil samples from 21 out of 22 playgrounds (95.5%). The most prevalent helminth found was Toxocara canis, the common roundworm of dogs. It was detected in the soil samples from 12 (54.5%) playgrounds. This study showed a low frequency of the other parasites. Our data highlight the need for improved knowledge of the relationship between humans and stray animals. Indeed several zooparasites have a role in the etiopathogenesis of common human diseases. The high environmental contamination frequency found underlines the necessity of prompt preventive public health measures, such as control of stray animals, treatment of infected pets and hygiene education of the population to increase awareness of potential zoonotic hazards.
[Prevalence of Toxocara spp in public playgrounds in a town of Central Italy] / Giacometti, Andrea; Cerioni, O; Fortuna, M; Caselli, F; D'Errico, Mm; Drenaggi, D; Scalise, Giorgio. - In: LE INFEZIONI IN MEDICINA. - ISSN 1124-9390. - STAMPA. - 7:3(1999), pp. 163-167.