Abstract: The objective of this review was to identify and critique over forty years of peer-reviewed literature concerned with the transmission of canine zoonoses to Aboriginal people and determine the zoonotic organisms documented in dogs in Australian Aboriginal communities. A systematic literature search of public health, medical and veterinary databases identified 19 articles suitable for critical appraisal. Thirteen articles documented the occurrence of recognized zoonotic organisms in dogs in Aboriginal communities, including Toxocara canis, Dirofilaria immitis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Rickettsia felis, Sarcoptes scabiei and Giardia. Currently, there is definitive evidence indicating that dogs act as a reservoir for human scabies in Aboriginal communities. However, there is a need for large-scale, high-quality, comparative studies of dogs and humans from the same household to assess the occurrence and importance of transmission of S. scabiei and other diseases between dogs and humans. These studies should use current genetic and molecular techniques along with traditional techniques to identify and type organisms in order to better understand their epidemiology. This review has revealed that there is a lack of high-quality comparative studies to determine whether dogs are contributing to human disease by transmitting zoonoses. Our recommendations differ significantly from current public health policy and may have substantial implications for human and dog health.
Smout, F., Schrieber, L., Speare, R., Skerratt, L. F., 2017, More bark than bite: Comparative studies are needed to determine the importance of canine zoonoses in Aboriginal communities. A critical review of published research, Volume:64, Journal Article, viewed 28 November 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=39874.