Prevalence of Canine Helminths in Aberystwyth, Wales
: Introduction of the FECPAKG2

  • Sam Grinsell

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


To the authors knowledge, there has been no survey of canine helminth prevalence conducted in Wales. In the present study, canine helminth prevalence in picked up (n = 108) and fouled (n = 78) canine faecal samples around Aberystwyth was investigated using the Mini-FLOTAC (MF) faecal egg counting technique. Ova from 4 helminth families were identified with the following prevalence, hookworms (3.8%), ascarids (3.2%), threadworms (1.6%) and whipworms (1.1%). Furthermore, fouled faecal samples had significantly more (P = 0.03) helminth burdens than picked up faecal samples. Additionally, the present study investigated, for the first time, the suitability of the FECPAKG2 (G2) system as a user friendly and accessible FEC tool for diagnosing canine helminths and providing a large digital database of helminth prevalence in a region. The present study optimised the G2 system’s protocol for recovering canine ascarid ova and validated the G2 system via an egg spike study incorporating previously established FEC methods; namely, Mini-FLOTAC (MF), McMasters and Cornell-Wisconsin (CW), at spike levels of 50, 100 and 200 eggs per gram of faeces. The G2 was successfully optimised with sedimentation and accumulation times of 30 mins and 6 mins, respectively. The G2 system demonstrated the poorest sensitivity (60%) when compared with the alternative methodologies. However, it was revealed that the G2 had accuracy values that were not significantly different from MF and CW (P > 0.05). Preliminary trials were performed to assess the potential of optimising the G2 protocol further to improve the method’s sensitivity. These trials produced promising results with infection intensities as low as 10 eggs per gram being detected. It is anticipated that the introduction of user friendly and innovative FEC approaches will encourage a greater utilisation of faecal examinations in helminth diagnostics, which will in turn will improve control and monitoring of helminths worldwide.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRhys Jones (Supervisor) & Russ Morphew (Supervisor)

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