Dog Walking and Risks of Lungworm Transmission

Project Details

Description

This project aims to identify host behaviour that incurs the greatest putative risk of lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) [av] cross-transmission within public dog-walking spaces in the city of Brighton and Hove and environs. Methods involve behavioural observations of the two main types of host of interest in this context: domestic dogs and terrestrial gastropods (land slugs/snails), measurement of environmental and biological variables (humidity, temperature, habitat type) and collection and PCR analysis of samples for av in dog faeces and gastropod tissue. Various scenarios including on/off lead, different times of day are investigated, along with gastropod host species diversity.

Layman's description

This project aims to identify dog and slug/snail behaviour that increases risk of lungworm infection within public dog-walking spaces such as parks, streets, and the countryside.

We took behavioural observations of both dogs and slugs/snails at different times of day/night and in different weather conditions in Brighton and Hove and surrounding areas, alongside laboratory analysis to look at lungworm occurrence in the environment.

We catalogued the different slug and snail species to see which are hosts for lungworm, and compared the risk of infection for young versus old dogs on and off leads.

Key findings

In progress
Short titleLungworm and Dog Walking
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/10/2030/06/21

Funding

    Keywords

    • Lungworm
    • Dogs
    • Dog-walking
    • slugs
    • snails
    • Angiostrongylus vasorum
    • disease
    • behaviour