Prevalence of Toxocara eggs in public parks in the city of Valencia (Eastern Spain).
Toxocara spp. is one of the most common zoonotic geohelminths in the world. Its infections are associated with the accidental ingestion of contaminated soil and affecting, especially children. In this study, feces, and soil samples from 14 public parks in the city of Valencia were analyzed. The Telemann method and a modified version of a sieving technique were used to process feces and soil, respectively. None of the fecal samples and 10.9% of soil samples from five parks (35.7%) tested positive for the presence of Toxocara eggs. The most contaminated areas were the canine sanitary parks (30.8% of the samples), followed by socialization areas for dogs (9.7%); no positive samples were found at children's playgrounds. Our results suggest that most pets in Valencia are periodically dewormed, although additional preventive measures should be applied, since the risk of infection exists probably due to the presence of stray dogs and feral cats.