Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 10, pp 3731–3735 | Cite as

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in wild felids of South Africa

  • Angela Di CesareEmail author
  • Francesca Laiacona
  • Raffaella Iorio
  • Marianna Marangi
  • Alessia Menegotto
Original Paper


The increasing interest on respiratory nematodes of domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) has recently stimulated several studies on their epidemiology and geographic distribution. At the same time, there are still important gaps in our knowledge of the infections caused by respiratory nematodes in wild felids. The present study investigated the occurrence of pulmonary parasites in wild hosts housed in sanctuaries and protected areas of South Africa. Faecal samples collected from seven species of wild felids living in three study sites were copromicroscopically and genetically examined. Of twenty-one samples six, i.e. three from caracals (Caracal caracal), two from lions (Panthera leo) and one from a serval (Leptailurus serval), scored positive for the metastrongyloid Aelurostrongylus abstrusus at copromicroscopic and/or molecular tests. No other lungworms were recorded. The occurrence of the cosmopolitan cat lungworm A. abstrusus in wild hosts has been so far questioned. Importantly, the present findings represent an unequivocal evidence of the capability of A. abstrusus to infect some species of wild felids. Further studies are warranted to understand the epidemiological patterns of lungworms in wild and domestic felids, and to better investigate the impact of these parasitoses on health and welfare of wild animals.


Aelurostrongylus abstrusus Lungworms Lion Caracal Serval South Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Di Cesare
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesca Laiacona
    • 1
  • Raffaella Iorio
    • 1
  • Marianna Marangi
    • 2
  • Alessia Menegotto
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of TeramoTeramoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Science of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  3. 3.Conservation Global Agency for environmental gain npcKnysnaSouth Africa

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