Parasites and Wildlife

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 41848

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SALUVET, Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: molecular epidemiology and phenotypical characterization; infecto-contagious agents; public health and conservation

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Guest Editor
Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain
Interests: wildlife ecopathology; Toxoplasma spp; emerging infectious diseases; wildlife–livestock interface; epidemiology
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

In a changing world, most emerging infectious diseases have been propagated from the wilderness to anthropized areas. Today, research on parasites that may affect the biology and population equilibrium of their hosts is of major interest, especially when a One Health perspective is considered.

The present Special Issue aims to provide a collection of comprehensive investigations falling within a number of areas of interest such as epidemiology, diagnosis, emerging zoonoses, food safety, conservation issues, parasite–host interactions, and pathology in infections caused by parasites in wild host species.

We cordially invite you to share your recent findings through this Special Issue. 

Dr. Rafael Calero-Bernal
Prof. Dr. Ignacio García-Bocanegra
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • parasites
  • wildlife
  • reservoir
  • conservation
  • epidemiology
  • pathology

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 568 KiB  
Editorial
Parasites and Wildlife
by Rafael Calero-Bernal and Ignacio García-Bocanegra
Animals 2023, 13(4), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13040628 - 10 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Macro and micro-parasites are integrated into ecosystems worldwide and are considered important elements of biodiversity [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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Research

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23 pages, 6391 KiB  
Article
Molecular Detection and Characterization of Intestinal and Blood Parasites in Wild Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Senegal
by Pamela C. Köster, Justinn Renelies-Hamilton, Laia Dotras, Manuel Llana, Celia Vinagre-Izquierdo, Petras Prakas, Donatas Sneideris, Alejandro Dashti, Begoña Bailo, Marta Lanza, Alejandra Jiménez-Mejías, Carlota Muñoz-García, Aly S. Muadica, David González-Barrio, José M. Rubio, Isabel Fuentes, Francisco Ponce-Gordo, Rafael Calero-Bernal and David Carmena
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3291; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113291 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3286
Abstract
Wild chimpanzee populations in West Africa (Pan troglodytes verus) have dramatically decreased as a direct consequence of anthropogenic activities and infectious diseases. Little information is currently available on the epidemiology, pathogenic significance, and zoonotic potential of protist species in wild chimpanzees. [...] Read more.
Wild chimpanzee populations in West Africa (Pan troglodytes verus) have dramatically decreased as a direct consequence of anthropogenic activities and infectious diseases. Little information is currently available on the epidemiology, pathogenic significance, and zoonotic potential of protist species in wild chimpanzees. This study investigates the occurrence and genetic diversity of intestinal and blood protists as well as filariae in faecal samples (n = 234) from wild chimpanzees in the Dindefelo Community Nature Reserve, Senegal. PCR-based results revealed the presence of intestinal potential pathogens (Sarcocystis spp.: 11.5%; Giardia duodenalis: 2.1%; Cryptosporidium hominis: 0.9%), protist of uncertain pathogenicity (Blastocystis sp.: 5.6%), and commensal species (Entamoeba dispar: 18.4%; Troglodytella abrassarti: 5.6%). Entamoeba histolytica, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, and Balantioides coli were undetected. Blood protists including Plasmodium malariae (0.4%), Trypanosoma brucei (1.3%), and Mansonella perstans (9.8%) were also identified. Sanger sequencing analyses revealed host-adapted genetic variants within Blastocystis, but other parasitic pathogens (C. hominis, P. malariae, T. brucei, M. perstans) have zoonotic potential, suggesting that cross-species transmission between wild chimpanzees and humans is possible in areas where both species overlap. Additionally, we explored potential interactions between intestinal/blood protist species and seasonality and climate variables. Chimpanzees seem to play a more complex role on the epidemiology of pathogenic and commensal protist and nematode species than initially anticipated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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10 pages, 2337 KiB  
Article
Babesia microti in Rodents from Different Habitats of Lithuania
by Dalytė Mardosaitė-Busaitienė, Jana Radzijevskaja, Linas Balčiauskas and Algimantas Paulauskas
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061707 - 7 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3730
Abstract
Babesia microti (Aconoidasida: Piroplasmida) (Franca, 1910) is an emerging tick-borne parasite with rodents serving as the considered reservoir host. However, the distribution of B. microti in Europe is insufficiently characterized. Based on the sample of 1180 rodents from 19 study sites in Lithuania, [...] Read more.
Babesia microti (Aconoidasida: Piroplasmida) (Franca, 1910) is an emerging tick-borne parasite with rodents serving as the considered reservoir host. However, the distribution of B. microti in Europe is insufficiently characterized. Based on the sample of 1180 rodents from 19 study sites in Lithuania, the objectives of this study were: (1) to investigate the presence of Babesia parasites in eight species of rodents, (2) to determine the prevalence of Babesia parasites in rodents from different habitats, and (3) to characterize the detected Babesia strains using partial sequencing of the 18S rRNR gene. Babesia DNA was detected in 2.8% rodents. The highest prevalence of Babesia was found in Microtus oeconomus (14.5%) and Microtus agrestis (7.1%) followed by Clethrionomys glareolus (2.3%), Apodemus flavicollis (2.2%) and Micromys minutus (1.3%). In M.minutus, Babesia was identified for the first time. The prevalence of Babesia-infected rodents was higher in the meadow (5.67%) than in the ecotone (1.69%) and forest (0.31%) habitats. The sequence analysis of the partial 18S rRNA gene reveals that Babesia isolates derived from rodents were 99–100% identical to human pathogenic B. microti ‘Jena/Germany’ strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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17 pages, 2724 KiB  
Article
Evidence for Unknown Sarcocystis-Like Infection in Stranded Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Ligurian Sea, Italy
by Federica Giorda, Umberto Romani-Cremaschi, Antoinette E. Marsh, Carla Grattarola, Barbara Iulini, Alessandra Pautasso, Katia Varello, Enrica Berio, Paola Gazzuola, Letizia Marsili, Cristina E. Di Francesco, Maria Goria, Federica Verna, Tania Audino, Simone Peletto, Maria Caramelli, Mercedes Fernández-Escobar, Eva Sierra, Antonio Fernández, Rafael Calero-Bernal and Cristina Casaloneadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051201 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3008
Abstract
Two striped dolphins (SD1, SD2), stranded along the Ligurian coast of Italy, were diagnosed with a nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis associated with previously undescribed protozoan tissue cysts. As tissue cysts were morphologically different from those of Toxoplasma gondii, additional histopathological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and biomolecular [...] Read more.
Two striped dolphins (SD1, SD2), stranded along the Ligurian coast of Italy, were diagnosed with a nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis associated with previously undescribed protozoan tissue cysts. As tissue cysts were morphologically different from those of Toxoplasma gondii, additional histopathological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and biomolecular investigations were performed, aiming to fully characterize the organism. Histopathology revealed the presence of large Sarcocystis-like tissue cysts, associated with limited inflammatory lesions in all CNS areas studied. IHC was inconclusive, as positive staining with polyclonal antisera did not preclude cross-reaction with other Sarcocystidae coccidia. Applied to each animal, 11 different PCR protocols precluded a neural infection by Sarcocystis neurona, Sarcocystis falcatula, Hammondia hammondi, and Neospora caninum. T. gondii coinfection was confirmed only in dolphin SD2. Sarcocystis sp. sequences, showing the highest homology to species infecting the Bovidae family, were amplified from SD1 myocardium and SD2 skeletal muscle. The present study represents the first report of Sarcocystis-like tissue cysts in the brain of stranded cetaceans along with the first description of Sarcocystis sp. infection in muscle tissue of dolphins from the Mediterranean basin. Full article
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10 pages, 1308 KiB  
Article
The Role of Mustelids in the Transmission of Sarcocystis spp. Using Cattle as Intermediate Hosts
by Petras Prakas, Linas Balčiauskas, Evelina Juozaitytė-Ngugu and Dalius Butkauskas
Animals 2021, 11(3), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030822 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
There is a lack of research on the role of mustelids in the transmission of various Sarcocystis spp. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that widespread mustelids in Lithuania could be involved in the transmission of Sarcocystis spp. using cattle as [...] Read more.
There is a lack of research on the role of mustelids in the transmission of various Sarcocystis spp. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that widespread mustelids in Lithuania could be involved in the transmission of Sarcocystis spp. using cattle as intermediate hosts. In 2016–2020, intestinal samples of 84 mustelids were examined. Sarcocystis spp. were identified by species-specific PCR targeting the cox1 gene and subsequent sequencing. Under a light microscope, oocysts/sporocysts of Sarcocystis spp. were observed in 40 samples (47.6%), while using molecular methods, they were detected in 75 animals (89.3%). Four Sarcocystis spp. were identified in the intestinal samples of American mink (Neovisonvison), Beech marten (Martes foina), European pine marten (Martes martes), European badger (Meles meles) and European polecat (Mustela putorius). The prevalence of predominant Sarcocystis spp., S. bovifelis (89.3%) and S. cruzi (73.8%) was significantly higher than that of S. hirsuta (3.6%) and S. hominis (1.2%). In an individual sample, most frequently two Sarcocystis spp. were identified (69.0%), then a single species (15.5%) and three species (4.8%). The present study provides strong evidence that mustelids serve as definitive hosts for Sarcocystis spp. using cattle as intermediate hosts. Full article
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10 pages, 685 KiB  
Communication
Intestinal Helminths in Wild Rodents from Native Forest and Exotic Pine Plantations (Pinus radiata) in Central Chile
by Maira Riquelme, Rodrigo Salgado, Javier A. Simonetti, Carlos Landaeta-Aqueveque, Fernando Fredes and André V. Rubio
Animals 2021, 11(2), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020384 - 3 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5777
Abstract
Native forests have been replaced by forestry plantations worldwide, impacting biodiversity. However, the effect of this anthropogenic land-use change on parasitism is poorly understood. One of the most important land-use change in Chile is the replacement of native forests by Monterey pine ( [...] Read more.
Native forests have been replaced by forestry plantations worldwide, impacting biodiversity. However, the effect of this anthropogenic land-use change on parasitism is poorly understood. One of the most important land-use change in Chile is the replacement of native forests by Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations. In this study, we analyzed the parasitism (presence and prevalence) of intestinal helminths from fecal samples of wild rodents in three habitat types: native forests and adult and young pine plantations in central Chile. Small mammals were sampled seasonally for two years, and a total of 1091 fecal samples from seven small mammal species were analyzed using coprological analysis. We found several helminth families and genera, some of them potentially zoonotic. In addition, new rodent–parasite associations were reported for the first time. The overall helminth prevalence was 16.95%, and an effect of habitat type on prevalence was not observed. Other factors were more relevant for prevalence such rodent species for Hymenolepis sp. and season for Physaloptera sp. Our findings indicate that pine plantations do not increase helminth prevalence in rodents compared to native forests. Full article
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11 pages, 1045 KiB  
Communication
Molecular Characterization of New Haplotype of Genus Sarcocystis in Seabirds from Magdalena Island, Southern Chile
by Igor C. L. Acosta, Solange M. Gennari, Horwald A. B. Llano, Sebastián Muñoz-Leal and Rodrigo M. Soares
Animals 2021, 11(2), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020245 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
Evidence of sarcocystid infection was investigated in samples of 16 penguins (Spheniscus. magellanicus), four Dominican gulls (Larus dominicanus) and two Chilean skuas (Stercorarius chilensis) found in Madalenas Islands, Chile, in 2017. Samples of skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and [...] Read more.
Evidence of sarcocystid infection was investigated in samples of 16 penguins (Spheniscus. magellanicus), four Dominican gulls (Larus dominicanus) and two Chilean skuas (Stercorarius chilensis) found in Madalenas Islands, Chile, in 2017. Samples of skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and brain from all birds were screened by a pan-sarcocystid nested-PCR targeting a short fragment of the gene encoding the small ribosomal unit (nPCR-18Sa). The only two positive samples by nPCR-18Sa, both from skuas, were tested by a nested-PCR directed to the internal transcribed spacer 1 (nPCR-ITS1), also a pan-sarcocystidae nested-PCR, and to a nested-PCR directed to the B1 gene (nPCR-B1), for the exclusive detection of Toxoplasma gondii. The two nPCR-18Sa-positive samples were nPCR-ITS1-positive and nPCR-B1-negative. The nPCR-ITS1 nucleotide sequences from the two skuas, which were identical to each other, were revealed closely related to homologous sequences of Sarcocystis halieti, species found in seabirds of northern hemisphere. Larger fragments of genes encoding 18S and partial sequences of genes coding for cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 were also analyzed, corroborating ITS1 data. The haplotypes found in the skuas are unprecedent and closely related to species that use birds as the definitive host. Further studies need to be carried out to detect, identify and isolate this parasite to understand the epidemiology of the infection and its impact on the health of marine fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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14 pages, 1051 KiB  
Article
Trichinella spp. in Wild Boars (Sus scrofa), Brown Bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian Lynxes (Lynx lynx) and Badgers (Meles meles) in Estonia, 2007–2014
by Age Kärssin, Liidia Häkkinen, Annika Vilem, Pikka Jokelainen and Brian Lassen
Animals 2021, 11(1), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010183 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
In this study, we summarize Trichinella findings from four wild, free-ranging host species from Estonia during 2007–2014. Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in 281 (0.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8–1.0) of 30,566 wild boars (Sus scrofa), 63 (14.7%, 95% CI 11.6–18.3) [...] Read more.
In this study, we summarize Trichinella findings from four wild, free-ranging host species from Estonia during 2007–2014. Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in 281 (0.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8–1.0) of 30,566 wild boars (Sus scrofa), 63 (14.7%, 95% CI 11.6–18.3) of 429 brown bears (Ursus arctos), 59 (65.56%, 95% CI 55.3–74.8) of 90 Eurasian lynxes (Lynx lynx), and three (60.0%, 95% CI 18.2–92.7) of five badgers (Meles meles). All four European Trichinella species were detected: T. britovi in 0.7% of the wild boars, 7.2% of the brown bears, 45.6% of the lynxes, and 40.0% of the badgers; T. nativa in 0.1% of the wild boars, 5.8% of the brown bears, and 20.0% of the lynxes; T. pseudospiralis in 0.02% the wild boars; and T. spiralis in 0.03% of the wild boars and 4.4% of the lynxes. The results include the first description from Estonia of T. britovi in brown bear and badgers, T. pseudospiralis in wild boars, and T. spiralis in wild boars and lynxes. The results indicate high infection pressure in the sylvatic cycles across the years—illustrating continuous risk of spillover to domestic cycles and of transmission to humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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15 pages, 890 KiB  
Article
Distribution and Host Selection of Tropical Rat Mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti, in Yunnan Province of Southwest China
by Peng-Wu Yin, Xian-Guo Guo, Dao-Chao Jin, Rong Fan, Cheng-Fu Zhao, Zhi-Wei Zhang, Xiao-Bin Huang and Ke-Yu Mao
Animals 2021, 11(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010110 - 7 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2460
Abstract
(1) Background: As a species of gamasid mite, the tropical rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti) is a common ectoparasite on rodents and some other small mammals. Besides stinging humans to cause dermatitis, O. bacoti can be a vector of rickettsia pox and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As a species of gamasid mite, the tropical rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti) is a common ectoparasite on rodents and some other small mammals. Besides stinging humans to cause dermatitis, O. bacoti can be a vector of rickettsia pox and a potential vector of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). (2) Objective: The present study was conducted to understand the host selection of O. bacoti on different animal hosts and the distribution in different environmental gradients in Yunnan Province of Southwest China. (3) Methods: The original data came from the investigations in 39 counties of Yunnan, between 1990 and 2015. The animal hosts, rodents and some other small mammals were mainly trapped with mouse traps. The O. bacoti mites on the body surface of animal hosts were collected and identified in a conventional way. The constituent ratio (Cr), prevalence (PM), mean abundance (MA) and mean intensity (MI) were used to reflect infestations of animal hosts with O. bacoti mites. The patchiness index and Taylor’s power law were used to measure the spatial distribution pattern of O. bacoti mites on their hosts. (4) Results: A total of 4121 tropical rat mites (O. bacoti) were identified from 15 species and 14,739 individuals of hosts, and 99.20% of them were found on rodents. More than half of O. bacoti mites (51.78%) were identified from the Asian house rat (Rattus tanezumi), and 40.09% of the mites from the Norway rat (R. norvegicus) (p < 0.05). The infestations of R. tanezumi (PM = 7.61%, MA = 0.40 and MI = 5.31) and R. norvegicus (PM = 10.98, MA = 1.14 and MI = 10.39) with O. bacoti mites were significantly higher than those of other host species (p < 0.05). The infestations of two dominant rat hosts (R. tanezumi and R. norvegicus) with O. bacoti mites varied in different environmental gradients (latitudes, longitudes, altitudes, landscapes and habitats) and on different sexes and ages of the hosts. The prevalence of juvenile R. norvegicus rats with O. bacoti mites (PM = 12.90%) was significantly higher than that of adult rats (PM = 9.62%) (p < 0.05). The prevalence (PM = 38.46%) and mean abundance (MA = 2.28 mites/host) of R. tanezumi rats with O. bacoti mites in the high latitude were higher than those in the low latitudes (p < 0.05). The majority of the total collected 4121 O. bacoti mites was found in the flatland landscape (91.28%) and indoor habitat (73.48%) (p < 0.05). The PM (10.66%) and MA (0.49 mites/host) of R. tanezumi rats with O. bacoti mites were significantly higher in the indoor habitat than in the outdoor habitat (p < 0.05). The tropical rat mites showed an aggregated distribution pattern on their first dominant host, R. tanezumi. Conclusion: The tropical rat mite (O. bacoti) is a widely distributed species of gamasid mite in Yunnan Province, Southwest China, and its dominant hosts are two synanthropic species of rats, R. tanezumi and R. norvegicus. It is mainly distributed in the flatland landscape and indoor habitat. It has some host-specificity, with a preference to rodents, especially R. tanezumi and R. norvegicus. The O. bacoti mites are of aggregated distribution on R. tanezumi rats. Full article
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8 pages, 633 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Two DNA Extraction Methods and Two PCRs for Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in the Stool Samples of Naturally Infected Red Foxes
by Katarzyna Skrzypek, Jacek Karamon, Małgorzata Samorek-Pieróg, Joanna Dąbrowska, Maciej Kochanowski, Jacek Sroka, Ewa Bilska-Zając and Tomasz Cencek
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122381 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
(1) Background: Due to the increasing distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis infections in final hosts, epidemiological investigations are important for recognizing the spreading pattern of this parasite and also to estimate risk infection for humans. (2) Methods: Investigations were conducted with two commercial kits [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Due to the increasing distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis infections in final hosts, epidemiological investigations are important for recognizing the spreading pattern of this parasite and also to estimate risk infection for humans. (2) Methods: Investigations were conducted with two commercial kits dedicated for DNA extraction from feces: ZR Fecal DNA Mini Prep (Zymo Research, Freiburg, Germany) and QIAamp FAST DNA Stool Mini Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) (marked as Z and Q), together with two common PCR protocols (nested PCR and multiplex PCR). The goal was to compare their efficiency in detecting the genetic material of E. multilocularis in the samples of feces. Stool samples from red foxes were collected in a highly endemic area in Poland. Sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) was used as a reference method. (3) Results: From 48 samples, 35 were positive in SCT. Further investigations showed that 40.0% of samples (from those with SCT positive result) after Z-DNA extraction and 45.7% after Q-DNA extraction gave positive results in nested PCR. In multiplex PCR, positive results were obtained in 54.3% of samples after Z isolation and 48.6% of samples after Q. Additionally, one sample that resulted in being negative in SCT gave a positive result in PCR. The number of worms detected in the intestines had no influence on PCR results. (4) Conclusions: Both of the extraction methods showed similar efficiency in DNA isolation and dealing with inhibitors; however, they showed relatively low sensitivity. This was probably caused by degradation of genetic material in the field-collected samples. Full article
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21 pages, 2110 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Determinants of the Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in a Wild Ungulate Community
by Patricia Barroso, Ignacio García-Bocanegra, Pelayo Acevedo, Pablo Palencia, Francisco Carro, Saúl Jiménez-Ruiz, Sonia Almería, Jitender P. Dubey, David Cano-Terriza and Joaquín Vicente
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2349; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122349 - 9 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3872
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan which infects warm-blooded vertebrates, including humans, worldwide. In the present study, the epidemiology of T. gondii was studied in the wild ungulate host community (wild boar, red deer, and fallow deer) of Doñana National Park (DNP, [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan which infects warm-blooded vertebrates, including humans, worldwide. In the present study, the epidemiology of T. gondii was studied in the wild ungulate host community (wild boar, red deer, and fallow deer) of Doñana National Park (DNP, south-western Spain) for 13 years (2005–2018). We assessed several variables which potentially operate in the medium and long-term (environmental features, population, and stochastic factors). Overall, the wild ungulate host community of DNP had high seroprevalence values of T. gondii (STG; % ± confidence interval (CI) 95%; wild boar (Sus scrofa) 39 ± 3.3, n = 698; red deer (Cervus elaphus) 30.7 ± 4.4, n = 423; fallow deer (Dama dama) 29.7 ± 4.2, n = 452). The complex interplay of hosts and ecological/epidemiological niches, together with the optimal climatic conditions for the survival of oocysts that converge in this area may favor the spread of the parasite in its host community. The temporal evolution of STG oscillated considerably, mostly in deer species. The relationships shown by statistical models indicated that several factors determined species patterns. Concomitance of effects among species, indicated that relevant drivers of risk operated at the community level. Our focus, addressing factors operating at broad temporal scale, allows showing their impacts on the epidemiology of T. gondii and its trends. This approach is key to understanding the epidemiology and ecology to T. gondii infection in wild host communities in a context where the decline in seroprevalence leads to loss of immunity in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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Other

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8 pages, 569 KiB  
Brief Report
Zoonotic Microsporidia in Wild Lagomorphs in Southern Spain
by Anabel Martínez-Padilla, Javier Caballero-Gómez, Ángela Magnet, Félix Gómez-Guillamón, Fernando Izquierdo, Leonor Camacho-Sillero, Saúl Jiménez-Ruiz, Carmen del Águila and Ignacio García-Bocanegra
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122218 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2998
Abstract
Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protist-like fungal pathogens that infect a broad range of animal species, including humans. This study aimed to assess the presence of zoonotic microsporidia (Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, Encephalitozoon hellem, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) in organ [...] Read more.
Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protist-like fungal pathogens that infect a broad range of animal species, including humans. This study aimed to assess the presence of zoonotic microsporidia (Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, Encephalitozoon hellem, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) in organ meats of European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis) consumed by humans in Spain. Between July 2015 and December 2018, kidney samples from 383 wild rabbits and kidney and brain tissues from 79 Iberian hares in southern Spain were tested by species-specific PCR for the detection of microsporidia DNA. Enterocytozoon bieneusi infection was confirmed in three wild rabbits (0.8%; 95% CI: 0.0–1.7%) but not in hares (0.0%; 95% CI: 0.0–4.6%), whereas E. intestinalis DNA was found in one wild rabbit (0.3%; 95% CI: 0.0–0.8%) and three Iberian hares (3.8%; 95% CI: 0.0–8.0%). Neither E. hellem nor E. cuniculi infection were detected in the 462 (0.0%; 95% CI: 0.0–0.8%) lagomorphs analyzed. The absence of E. hellem and E. cuniculi infection suggests a low risk of zoonotic foodborne transmission from these wild lagomorph species in southern Spain. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of E. intestinalis infection in wild rabbits and Iberian hares. The presence of E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis in organ meats from wild lagomorphs can be of public health concern. Additional studies are required to determine the real prevalence of these parasites in European wild rabbit and Iberian hare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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5 pages, 240 KiB  
Brief Report
Broad Range Screening of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in Iceland
by Sándor Hornok, Kristin Mühldorfer, Nóra Takács, Regina Hofmann-Lehmann, Marina L. Meli, Miklós Gyuranecz, Ester R. Unnsteinsdóttir, Alex D. Greenwood and Gábor Á. Czirják
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112031 - 4 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2414
Abstract
The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is the only native terrestrial mammal in Iceland. While red foxes (V. vulpes) are known to be epidemiologically important carriers of several vector-borne pathogens in Europe, arctic foxes have never been evaluated in a [...] Read more.
The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is the only native terrestrial mammal in Iceland. While red foxes (V. vulpes) are known to be epidemiologically important carriers of several vector-borne pathogens in Europe, arctic foxes have never been evaluated in a similar context on this continent. This has become especially relevant in the last decade, considering the establishing populations of the tick species Ixodes ricinus in Iceland. In this study, liver DNA extracts of 60 arctic foxes, hunted between 2011–2012, were molecularly screened for vector-borne protozoan parasites (Trypanosomatidae, Babesia, Theileria, Hepatozoon) and bacteria (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, Borrelia, hemotropic Mycoplasma). One sample was real-time qPCR positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, though this positivity could not be confirmed with sequencing. Samples were negative for all other tested vector-borne pathogens. Results of this study indicate that, except for A. phagocytophilum, Icelandic arctic foxes were apparently “not yet infected” with vector-borne pathogens in 2011–2012, or their infections were “below the detection limit” of applied methods. Taking into account the broad range of target microorganisms analyzed here, as well as the warming climate and increasing presence of the vector I. ricinus in Iceland, our results will be very useful as baseline data for comparison in future monitoring of the emergence of ticks and tick-borne diseases in this country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife)
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