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Gastrointestinal helminths of gray wolves (Canis lupus lupus) from Sweden

Al-Sabi, MohammadNafi Solaiman, Rääf, Linnea, Osterman-Lind, Eva, Uhlhorn, Henrik, Kapel, ChristianMoliin Outzen
Parasitology research 2018 v.117 no.6 pp. 1891-1898
Alaria alata, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Canis lupus, Mesocestoides, Taenia hydatigena, Uncinaria stenocephala, body condition, eggs, gastrointestinal system, genes, helminths, humans, larvae, parasitoses, polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, species diversity, wildlife management, wolves, Sweden
As the Scandinavian wolf population is limited in size, it is only rarely subject to systematic studies on its disease biology, especially gastrointestinal parasites. Therefore, this study aims to describe the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths of gray wolves hunted on a limited license as a part of a wildlife management program. Helminths of 20 wolves were examined post mortem by macroscopy and coprology. Intestinal worms of five species were recovered from 18 wolves (90%): Uncinaria stenocephala (90%), Taenia spp. (45%), Alaria alata (25%), and Mesocestoides spp. (5%). Of the taeniid specimens typed by multiplex PCR and sequencing of the cox1 gene, 25% belonged to Taenia hydatigena and 25% to Taenia krabbei. The overall species diversity was low compared to findings from wolves of the northern hemisphere. Fecal eggs of Eucoleus boehmi were detected in 12 wolves (60%). Fecal metastrongylid larvae were found in seven individuals (39%), but PCR analyses specific for Angiostrongylus vasorum were negative. The wolves were in good body condition suggesting that the parasite infestation had no negative impact on the general health of the examined wolves. Although some of the recovered parasite species have zoonotic or veterinary impact, it is not likely that the spare wolf population pose substantial threat to human or veterinary health.