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Biliary parasite Pseudamphistomum truncatum (Opistorchiidae) in American mink (Mustela vison) and Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Ireland

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Native Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and introduced American mink (Mustela vison) carcasses collected throughout Ireland were screened for biliary parasites. Secondary intermediate hosts, Cyprinid fish, were also examined for Opistorchiid metacercariae. Twenty-nine mink and 24 otter gall bladders were screened for biliary parasites. A single mink and three otters were found to be infected with the digenetic trematode Pseudamphistomum truncatum. Eighty-nine percent of roach (Rutilus rutilus) from the River Shannon were infected with P. truncatum metacercariae, confirming the persistence of the parasite. This is the first record of the species in Ireland, and its recent introduction is probably related to the movement and release of Cyprinid fishes by anglers.

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The authors would like to thank the members of the public who donated mink and otter carcasses to the study. The authors are grateful for the samples supplied by Alan Cullagh of the Southern Regional Fisheries Board and Dermot Broughon of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. The authors would also like to express their gratitude to Eileen Harris of the Parasitic Worm Group, Natural History Museum, London for expert identification of the flukes. Conall Hawkins is sponsored by Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology, through the Embark Initiative, and Peter Stuart is funded under the Research Stimulus Fund Programme by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food.

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Correspondence to Conall J. Hawkins.

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Hawkins, C.J., Caffrey, J.M., Stuart, P. et al. Biliary parasite Pseudamphistomum truncatum (Opistorchiidae) in American mink (Mustela vison) and Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Ireland. Parasitol Res 107, 993–997 (2010).

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