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Azuonwu Obioma works in the department of medical laboratory science and is a faculty of science at Rivers State University of Science and Technology located at Nkpolu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His research interests are in the healthcare and its allied regions.
Pet dogs are companion animals that bring major physiological and social wellbeing to the owners and society at large. However, due to increasing trends of interaction of these household pets such as dogs with man in the environment, they have been strongly implicated as major source of various forms of human infections, especially of zoonotic perspective and interest. The aim of this study was to investigate fungal pathogens that are associated with pet dogs which are of zoonotic importance, and also to evaluate their antibiogram profile, especially in an era of increasing public health challenges of antimicrobial resistance issues in our local communities, thus these could probably be linked to incessant drug abuse and poor health education among the citizens in our rural communities. One hundred (100) swab samples were collected from different sites in the communities at random, hence (fifty (50) from the buccal cavity and fifty (50) from the nasal cavity). The samples were analyzed in the University of Port Harcourt teaching hospital microbiology laboratory, using microbiological technique and data obtained from the laboratory analysis were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS), version 21. However, Two (2) species of fungal pathogens which are Candida species with a prevalence of 30 (30%) and Aspergillus Sp. with prevalence of 31(31%) were isolated from both the nasal and buccal cavity of the dogs. Nevertheless, the mean value of the total heterotrophic count for buccal swab was 84.441±33.4494 and 91.630±38.9508 for nasal swab with an associated p-value of 0.33. Furthermore, the results for sensitivity testing of the antifungal drug show that all the isolates were resistant to Nystatin, but were susceptible to fluconazole, clotrimazole and ketoconazole. However, the recovery of fungal isolates from dogs strongly suggests that, animals to human transmission of pathogens may be common which is of public health importance. Hence adequate care should be taken to reduce the increasing trend of animal to man contacts, so as to reduce the occurrence of zoonotic infections, as well as minimize the antimicrobial resistance health challenges in our communities.