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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2019, Article ID 7409076, 6 pages
Research Article

Screening of Zoonotic Parasites in Playground Sandboxes of Public Parks from Subtropical Mexico

1Laboratorio de Biología Celular, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi”, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, 97000 Mérida, Mexico
2Depto. de Medicina Interna y Cirugía. Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, 97100 Mérida, Mexico
3Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry, The Institute for Learning and Teaching, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Ivonne B. Hern√°ndez-Cortazar; xm.ydau.oerroc@zednanreh.ennovi

Received 27 February 2019; Accepted 14 April 2019; Published 2 June 2019

Academic Editor: Kwang Poo Chang

Copyright © 2019 Gonzalo A. Pacheco-Ortega et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The pathological agents Toxoplasma gondii, Ancylostoma caninum, and Toxocara canis are widely distributed zoonotic parasites with high prevalence in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The aim of the present study was to determine the presence of DNA from these parasites in sand samples from the sand playgrounds in the southeastern region of Mexico. Samples of sand were collected from 68 playgrounds in public parks in the city of Merida, Yucatan, which is the main urban area in the southeast of Mexico. The samples were examined using nested PCR to detect the SAG1 gene from Toxoplasma gondii, and endpoint PCR for the amplification of ITS-2 and rRNA-ITS2 genes from Toxocara canis and Ancylostoma caninum, respectively. The presence of T. gondii DNA was detected in 11.8% (8/68) samples, DNA from A. caninum and T. canis was not detected. Results indicate that playgrounds from the studied sandboxes are contaminated with T. gondii oocysts and may represent a risk of infection for people in contact with the sand, especially for preschoolers.