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Respiratory nematodes in cat populations of Italy

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Abstract

The occurrence of common respiratory parasites of domestic cats (the metastrongyloid “cat lungworm” Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and the trichuroid Capillaria aerophila) and of neglected respiratory nematodes of felids (Troglostrongylus brevior, Angiostrongylus chabaudi and Oslerus rostratus) was here evaluated in two and three geographical sites of Northern and Central Italy, respectively. In 2014–2015, individual fecal samples of 868 domestic cats were examined microscopically and genetically, and epidemiological data related to parasitic infections were evaluated as possible risk factors by binary logistic regression models. The most common parasite was A. abstrusus in both mono- and poli-specific infections, followed by T. brevior and C. aerophila, while cats scored negative for other parasites. Cats positive for A. abstrusus (1.9–17 % infection rate) and C. aerophila (0.9–4.8 % infection rate) were found in all examined sites, while cats scored positive for T. brevior (1–14.3 % infection rate) in four sites. Also, T. brevior was here found for the first time in a domestic cat from a mountainous area of Northern Italy. The occurrence of lungworms was statistically related to the presence of respiratory signs and more significant in cats with mixed infection by other lungworms and/or intestinal parasites. Cats living in site C of Central Italy resulted statistically more at risk of infection for lungworms than cats living in the other study sites, while animals ageing less than 1 year were at more risk for troglostrongylosis. Finally, the presence of lungworms was more significant in cats with mixed infection by other lungworms and/or intestinal parasites. These results are discussed under epidemiological and clinical points of views.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Emanuela Di Giulio, Carmelo Flavio Dimitri, Ilaria Russi, Simone Teodori, Federica Sauda, Raffaella Iorio, Barbara Paoletti and Roberto Bartolini for their participation in this study.

Conflict of interests

This study has not been financed not influenced by any third party. ADC holds a post-doc fellowship on parasites different than feline lungworms and she has participated in the present study in the framework of her freedom of scientific research. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Donato Traversa.

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Di Cesare, A., Veronesi, F., Grillotti, E. et al. Respiratory nematodes in cat populations of Italy. Parasitol Res 114, 4463–4469 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4687-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4687-5

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