, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 439-447
Date: 29 Jan 2008

Integrated-baiting concept against Echinococcus multilocularis in foxes is successful in southern Bavaria, Germany

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This paper describes the design and the preliminary evaluation of an integrated approach to the control of Echinococcus multilocularis in foxes using praziquantel bait. Air distribution of bait in agricultural and recreational areas was combined with distribution of bait by hand in towns and villages to cover the entire fox population in the 213-km2 baiting area. Bait distribution density was 50/km2, and bait was distributed once every 4 weeks. Pre-baiting prevalence was 35% (22–50% CI 95%). During a 1-year period following the first 4 months of bait distribution, only one positive fox was found (prevalence 1%; 0–4% CI 95%). No significant change had occurred in the unbaited control area. This prevalence decline is far more pronounced than in previous fox-baiting studies, which is likely to be due to the increased bait distribution density and baiting frequency, and the inclusion of the ‘urban’ fox population.

Communicated by F.-J. Kaup