In the last decade an increase of the number of red foxes in anthropized habitats across European countries, including Italy, has been observed. This pones implications in terms of disease transmission between wildlife and domestic animals; in fact, there are evidences of the role of foxes as reservoirs and amplifiers of a broad spectrum of parasites infecting pets. The present study evaluated the prevalence of Eucoleus boehmi, an emerging extra-intestinal nematodes of the Capillariinae subfamily, in red foxes. The nasal passages and sinuses of 179 red foxes culled from several areas of northern and central Italy were inspected and the mucosal surfaces were scrapped and examined for adult nematodes and eggs, microscopically and genetically identified. Overall 55 foxes (30.7%) were found to be infected with E. boehmi, i.e. 27 on inspection of the nasal passages and sinuses and 28 on mucosal flush and scraping. The occurrence of E. boehmi was significantly (p < 0.05) correlated to the sampling location, the age and gender of the animals examined; the higher rates of prevalence were observed in animals culled in Piedmont (43.3%) and in female (60.6%) and adult (38.1%) subjects. A total of 184 adult parasites were recovered, with a mean intensity of infection of 3.34, and a more frequent localization of E. boehmi in the nasal passages rather than in the sinuses. A significant (p < 0.05) relationship was found between the parasite burden and body condition and age of the animals; the intensity of infection was significantly higher in juveniles (mean: 6.3 specimens) and in animals showing poor fox body condition (mean: 7.8 specimens).These results show that E. boehmi is highly prevalent in the red fox populations of certain areas of Italy. Epidemiological implications are discussed, with a special focus on the role that this wild canid may have in the increasing transmission of nasal eucoleosis to domestic dogs.
|Titolo:||Eucoleus boehmi infection in red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|