Helminth infections of wild European gray wolves (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) in Lower Saxony, Germany, and comparison to captive wolves
- 42 Downloads
This study aimed to investigate the endoparasite fauna of wild European gray wolves, which are currently recolonizing Germany. In total, 69 fecal samples of wild wolves were collected in Lower Saxony, Germany, from 2013 to 2015, analyzed by the sedimentation-flotation and McMaster techniques and compared to previous results on captive European Gray wolves living in zoological gardens in Germany. In addition to coproscopy, taeniid-positive samples from wild as well as captive wolves were differentiated by amplification and sequencing of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) and NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) gene fragments. Missing Taenia krabbei SSU rRNA reference sequences were generated from two T. krabbei specimens. Overall, 60.87% (42/69) of wild wolve samples were microscopically positive for at least one of seven egg types. Capillaria/Eucoleus spp. showed the highest frequency (31.88% [22/69]), followed by Taeniidae (21.74% [15/69]), Ancylostomatidae (20.29% [14/69]), Alaria alata (15.94% [11/69]), Toxocara canis (13.04% [9/69]), and Toxascaris leonina and Trichuris vulpis (each 5.80% [4/69]). Amplification of SSU rRNA was successful for 7/15 Taeniidae-positive samples from wild and 20/39 samples from captive wolves, revealing T. hydatigena in two and 14 samples, respectively. Taenia krabbei was detected in two further samples of wild and three samples of captive wolves, while for the remaining samples, no differentiation between T. serialis/T. krabbei was possible. Echinococcus spp. were not detected. Sequence comparisons revealed that the SSU rRNA gene fragment was not suitable to differentiate between T. serialis and T. krabbei. Therefore, the use of this fragment alone cannot be recommended for species identification in future studies.
KeywordsCanis lupus lupus Coproscopy Taeniids Taeniidae Taenia Echinococcus
Eggs per gram feces
NADH dehydrogenase 1
- SSU rRNA
Small subunit ribosomal RNA
The authors wish to thank Ines Lesniak and Heribert Hofer (Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany) for providing the DNA of Taenia krabbei as well as the Friedrich-Löffler-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Insel Riems, Germany, for providing the E. multilocularis DNA used as positive control in the multiplex DNA. The authors are grateful to Ursula Küttler for the excellent technical assistance.
JDB collected parts of the fecal samples and carried out coproscopical analyses. EJ and AS performed the molecular analyses. JDB and AS performed the statistical analyses. CS and MB designed and coordinated the study. JDB, AS, and CS drafted the manuscript. All authors participated in the data interpretation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Armua-Fernandez MT, Nonaka N, Sakurai T, Nakamura S, Gottstein B, Deplazes P, Phiri IGK, Katakura K, Oku Y (2011) Development of PCR/dot blot assay for specific detection and differentiation of taeniid cestode eggs in canids. Parasitol Int 60:84–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2010.11.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bindke JD, Springer A, Böer M, Strube C (2017) Helminth fauna in captive European gray wolves (Canis lupus lupus) in Germany. Front Vet Sci 4(228). https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2017.00228
- Bryan HM, Darimont CT, Hill JE, Paquet PC, Thompson RCA, Wagner B, Smits JEG (2012) Seasonal and biogeographical patterns of gastrointestinal parasites in large carnivores: wolves in a coastal archipelago. Parasitology 139:781–790. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182011002319 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Contact Office “Wolves in Saxony” [Kontaktbüro Wölfe in Sachsen] (2018) Distribution in Germany. https://dbb-wolf.de/wolfsvorkommen/territorien?Bundesland=&Jahr=2016. Accessed 14 August 2018.
- Guerra D, Armua-Fernandez MT, Silva M, Bravo I, Santos N, Deplazes P, Carvalho LM (2013) Taeniid species of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in Portugal with special focus on Echinococcus spp. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2:50–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2012.11.007 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Federal Documentation and Advice Centre on the Wolf [Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle des Bundes zum Thema Wolf] (2018) Wolfsterritorien in Niedersachsen. https://www.dbb-wolf.de/Wolfsvorkommen/territorien/karte-der-territorien. Accessed 14 August 2018.
- Hermosilla C, Kleinertz S, Silva LMR, Hirzmann J, Huber D, Kusak J, Taubert A (2017) Protozoan and helminth parasite fauna of free-living Croatian wild wolves (Canis lupus) analyzed by scat collection. Vet Parasitol 233:14–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.11.011 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Poglayen G, Gori F, Morandi B et al (2017) Italian wolves (Canis lupus italicus Altobello, 1921) and molecular detection of taeniids in the Foreste Casentinesi National Park. Northern Italian Apennines. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 6:1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2017.01.001 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Szafrańska E, Wasielewski O, Bereszyński A (2010) A fecal analysis of helminth infections in wild and captive wolves, Canis lupus L., in Poland. J Helminthol 84:415–419. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022149X10000106
- Trachsel D, Deplazes P, Mathis A (2007) Identification of taeniid eggs in the feces from carnivores based on multiplex PCR using targets in mitochondrial DNA. Parasitology 134:911–920. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0031182007002235