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Helminth parasites of the red fox Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758) and the wolf Canis lupus italicus Altobello, 1921 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Fiocchi, A., Gustinelli, A., Gelmini, L., Rugna, G., Renzi, M., Fontana, M. C., Poglayen, G.
The Italian journal of zoology 2016 v.83 no.4 pp. 503-513
Alaria alata, Ancylostoma caninum, Brachylaima, Canis lupus, Dipylidium caninum, Dirofilaria immitis, Mesocestoides, Taenia crassiceps, Taenia hydatigena, Taenia ovis, Taenia pisiformis, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Uncinaria stenocephala, Vulpes vulpes, disease reservoirs, fauna, foxes, gastrointestinal system, heartworms, surveys, wolves, Italy
In the period 2013–2014 a survey was carried out on the helminthic fauna of 60 wild canids, 57 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and three wolves (Canis lupus italicus), collected in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy. The study focused mainly on the gastrointestinal and hepatic helminths. Parasites were recovered in 91.2% of the red foxes and in all the wolves examined. Multiple infections were found in the majority of the animals (71.9% of the foxes and 100% of the wolves). In total, 14 intestinal helminth species were identified, two trematodes (Alaria alata , Brachylaima spp.), seven cestodes (Mesocestoides spp., Taenia crassiceps , Taenia pisiformis , Taenia polyacantha , Dipylidium caninum , Taenia ovis , Taenia hydatigena) and five nematodes (Uncinaria stenocephala , Toxocara canis , Trichuris vulpis , Pterigodermatites affinis , Ancylostoma caninum). The heartworm Dirofilaria immitis was also recovered in two foxes. No Echinococcus spp. were found. Our study shows that foxes are reservoir hosts of zoonotic parasites, including A. alata , a rare digenean trematode in the Italian paeninsula. Results are compared with those of other surveys on helminths of wild canids carried out in Italy and other European countries.