Zoonoses

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Defined as diseases which are transmitted from dogs to humans, zoonoses are relatively common and important diseases in veterinary medicine.

Dogs are responsible for transmission of an extensive array of bacterial and parasitic zoonotic pathogens through the feces, urine, saliva (eg, bites or contaminated scratches), respiratory secretions, or by the dog acting as a vehicle and source of tick or flea exposure or reservoir for vector-borne disease[1].

Although dogs have been implicated in transmission of zoonoses to their owners, risk of transmission from contact with dogs is low and may be further reduced by simple precautions.

A list of some agents involved in canine zoonoses include:

Species Location in dog Classification Disease in humans
Acinetobacter baumannii skin bacteria nosocomial bactermia
Anaerobiospirillum spp gastrointestinal tract bacteria Diarrhea
Anaplasma spp blood bacteria tick-borne fever
Arcobacter spp gastrointestinal tract bacteria diarrhea
Blastomyces spp skin, lungs fungus systemic illness
Borrelia spp blood bacteria Lyme disease
Brucella spp blood bacteria Brucellosis
Brugia malayi lymphatics filarial nematode elephantiasis
Campylobacter spp gastrointestinal tract bacteria diarrhea
Canine bocavirus gastrointestinal, respiratory tracts virus diarrhea, gastroenteritis, hepatitis
Canine distemper virus saliva virus Paget's disease
Chlamydophila spp skin bacteria chlamydiosis, atherosclerosis
Clonorchis sinensis bile duct fluke Clonorchiasis
Coxiella burnetti gastrointestinal tract bacteria Q fever
Diphyllobothrium latum gastrointestinal tapeworm Diphyllobothriasis
Dirofilaria immitis cardiovascular system filariid heartworm disease
Dirofilaria repens skin filariid subcutaneous nodular panniculitis
Echinococcus granulosus small intestine tapeworm hydatidosis
Ehrlichia spp blood bacteria Ehlrichiosis
Entamoeba dispar gastrointestinal tract protozoan coccidiosis
Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae gastrointestinal tract bacteria Erysipelas
Escherichia spp gastrointestinal tract bacteria diarrhea
Fusarium spp skin fungus dermatopathy
Fusobacterium canifelinum gastrointestinal tract bacteria dog-bite wounds
Giardia duodenalis gastrointestinal tract protozoa Giardiasis
Haemophilus influenzae respiratory, gastrointestinal & genitourinary tracts bacteria dog-bite wounds
Helicobacter spp gastrointestinal tract bacteria gastritis
Leishmania spp skin protozoan Leishmaniasis
Leptospira spp gastrointestinal & genitourinary tracts bacteria Leptospirosis
Linguatula spp upper gastrointestinal tract parasite Marrara syndrome
Microsporum spp skin fungus ringworm
Mycobacterium spp respiratory tract bacteria human tuberculosis
Onchocerca lupi skin nematode onchocerciasis
Paragonimus spp lungs fluke paragonimiasis
Pasteurella spp respiratory tract bacteria dog-bite cellulitis
Prevotella spp oropharynx bacteria dog-bite wounds
Rabies virus saliva virus rabies
Rangelia spp blood ticks dermopathy
Rotavirus gastrointestinal tract virus gastroenteritis
Salmonella spp GI Tract proteobacteria diarrhea
Shigella spp GI tract proteobacteria shigellosis
Spirometra mansonoides small intestine tapeworm sparganosis
Staphylococcus spp skin, gastrointestinal & genitourinary tracts bacteria diarrhea, skin infections, dog-bite wounds
Systemic lupus erythematosus autoimmune disease N/A dog-associated SLE[2]
Taenia saginata small intestine tapeworm cysticercosis
Trichophyton spp skin fungus ringworm
Trichuris spp large intestine roundworm Whipworm infection
Toxoplasma spp GI tract protozoa diarrhea, seizures
Toxocara canis GI tract nematode visceral larva migrans




  1. Sabry AH et al (2012) Zoonoses from dogs with special reference to Egypt. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 42(3):583-604
  2. Chiou SH et al (2004) Pet dogs owned by lupus patients are at a higher risk of developing lupus. Lupus 13(6):442-449