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First detection of Baylisascaris procyonis in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Leipzig, Saxony, Eastern Germany

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Baylisascaris procyonis is a zoonotic nematode mainly harbored by the North American raccoon. It can cause severe neurological problems in paratenic hosts and humans. In Germany, raccoons are spread throughout the country. However, the presence of B. procyonis in the German raccoon population has not been thoroughly studied. For this study, 32 wild raccoons were collected in the urban area Leipzig, Saxony, Eastern Germany. Adult ascaroid nematodes were isolated from the intestines and morphologically identified as B. procyonis. Species confirmation was conducted through PCR. In total, adult B. procyonis worms were found in 24 raccoons. The results of the present study add new information about the presence of the parasite in Saxony, Germany. Similarly, the results highlight the importance of the raccoon as a reservoir of zoonotic parasites.

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The authors are grateful to Ute Gartman and Stephanie Müller (Institute of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig) for their assistance during lab work, and to Lutz Gumpert (Institute of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig) for his excellent technical assistance during raccoon necropsy. Many thanks to the Messestadttrapper Matzick pest control, the hunters of the free hunting association Liebertwolkwitz, and the State forestry district Leipzig. The authors also want to thank Prof. Gereon Schares (German Federal Institute for Animal Health) for kindly providing B. procyonis-positive control.


This project was partially funded by the Veterinarian Faculty (University of Leipzig) through the Young Scientists award for A. Obiegala.

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Correspondence to Zaida Rentería-Solís or Anna Obiegala.

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Rentería-Solís, Z., Birka, S., Schmäschke, R. et al. First detection of Baylisascaris procyonis in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Leipzig, Saxony, Eastern Germany. Parasitol Res 117, 3289–3292 (2018).

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