Introduction and objective:
Toxocariasis is a zoonotic parasitic infection with important public health considerations. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of anti-Toxocara species antibodies and associated risk factors in domestic dogs and cats referred by their owners to veterinary clinics located in Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran.

Material and methods:
A cross-sectional study involving 540 owners of dogs and cats was conducted between July – December 2020. A questionnaire administered by direct interviews was used to collect socio-demographic information and data on associated risk factors. Blood samples were collected and tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

The overall sero-prevalence of toxocariasis among the 540 participants was 16.7% (90 of 540). When participants included in the sample were classified by age, those aged 10–29 years demonstrated higher Toxocara infection prevalence than other groups (45.6%, 41 of 90). Univariate analysis revealed that the pet owners who had contact with soil [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 7.61, 95% CI: 6.06–9.24, P = 0.028], practiced handwashing after contact with dogs and cats (AOR = 2.42, 95% CI: 1.15–4.85, P = 0.046), and feeding the pets with raw meat (AOR = 11.01, 95% CI: 5.21–19.43, P = 0.023) had an increased risk of acquiring toxocariasis. The study showed that demographic characteristics such as age, gender, place of residence, education, and pet’s habitats were not significantly associated with toxocariasis.

Given the findings and the progressive impact of toxocariasis in public health and its high prevalence in developing countries, including Iran, measures should be taken to inform the public about zoonoses and eliminate their putative transmission.

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