The European wildcat (Felis silvestris) is the only wild felid living in Greece. Wildcat populations are declining due to anthropogenic and phenological unfavourable conditions, and parasites may have an additional negative impact. In the present study, the occurrence of endoparasites in wildcats in Greece and the potential threats posed to wildcats, domestic animals, and humans in the study areas has been investigated. In a six-year period, 23 road-killed wildcats and 62 wildcat faecal samples were collected from different areas of the country. Necropsy for the detection of endopara-sites and standard parasitological examinations of faecal samples were performed. Parasites were morphologically identified and, in selected cases, molecularly analysed. All necropsied wildcats (100%) were infected by three to 10 different parasite taxa, with the most prevalent being Taenia taeniaeformis (73.9%), Toxocara cati (60.9%), Angiostrongylus chabaudi (56.5%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (39.1%), Cylicospirura spp. (34.8%), Troglostrongylus brevior (34.8%), and Capillaria aerophila (33.8%). Of the 62 faecal samples examined, 53 (85.5%) were positive for one or more parasite elements (larvae, eggs, or oocysts). The most frequent were T. cati (45.2%), A. chabaudi (29%), C. aerophila (24.2%), and Ancylostomatidae (17.7%). This is the first survey on endoparasites affecting wildcats in Greece. Some of the parasites here found are frequent in domestic and wild felids, while others, i.e., Oslerus rostratus and Cylicospirura petrowi, were described for the first time in the European wildcat. Most of them have a significant pathogenic potential, causing severe to hazardous diseases to infected felids and some, under specific circumstances, can also threaten human health.
|Titolo:||Endoparasites of european wildcats (Felis silvestris) in Greece|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|