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Pearsonema spp. (Family Capillariidae, Order Enoplida) Infection in Domestic Carnivores in Central–Northern Italy and in a Red Fox Population from Central Italy

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana, Centro di Referenza Nazionale per la Medicina Forense Veterinaria, 58100 Grosseto, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091607
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 9 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Pearsonema spp. nematodes live in the urinary bladder and sometimes in the ureters and renal pelvis of domestic and wild carnivores, in which they may be responsible for urinary capillariosis. While the red fox is considered a reservoir of Pearsonema plica, the occurrence of Pearsonema spp. infection in domestic carnivores is still poorly known. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of Pearsonema spp. infection in privately owned cats and dogs from central (Tuscany) and northern Italy (Piedmont and Lombardy) alongside its occurrence in a red fox population from central Italy (Tuscany). Among the examined animals, 2/26 cats (7.7%), 1/83 dogs (1.2%), and 38/42 foxes (90.5%) were found positive. Recurrent cystitis, pollakiuria, and hematuria were the main clinical signs in symptomatic dogs and cats. This is the first study on Pearsonema spp. infection of domestic carnivores examining a large number of privately owned pet animals. Obtained results confirm the role of the red fox as a reservoir for P. plica in Europe and suggest a possible high occurrence of Pearsonema spp. infection in domestic cats of central Italy.
Pearsonema spp. nematodes infect the urinary bladder of domestic and wild carnivores. The red fox is considered a reservoir of Pearsonema plica, while the prevalence of Pearsonema spp. in domestic carnivores is still poorly known. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of Pearsonema spp. infection in privately owned cats (26) and dogs (83) from central and northern Italy alongside occurrence in red foxes (42) from central Italy. In positive dogs and cats, associated clinical signs were also evaluated. Urine samples were first examined under a stereomicroscope; then, they were centrifuged and microscopically examined after a flotation test. As for foxes, the urinary bladders were opened and urine was collected and processed as above, while collected nematodes were identified at the species level. Among examined animals, 2/26 cats (7.7%), 1/83 dogs (1.2%), and 38/42 foxes (90.5%) scored positive. Recurrent cystitis, pollakiuria, and hematuria were the main clinical signs in symptomatic dogs and cats. This is the first study on Pearsonema spp. infection in domestic carnivores examining a large number of privately owned pet animals. Obtained results confirm the role of the red fox as a reservoir for P. plica and suggest a possible high occurrence of Pearsonema spp. infection in domestic cats of central Italy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pearsonema plica; Pearsonema spp.; dog; cat; red fox; Italy Pearsonema plica; Pearsonema spp.; dog; cat; red fox; Italy
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Pelligra, S.; Guardone, L.; Riggio, F.; Parisi, F.; Maestrini, M.; Mariacher, A.; Perrucci, S. Pearsonema spp. (Family Capillariidae, Order Enoplida) Infection in Domestic Carnivores in Central–Northern Italy and in a Red Fox Population from Central Italy. Animals 2020, 10, 1607.

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