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Endoparasites of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and mesocarnivores in Central Portugal


At the end of the nineteenth century, massive population declines were observed in carnivores due to the emergence of infectious diseases. This study aims to investigate, by means of coprological analysis, the prevalence and intensity of the parasites that infect the endangered Iberian wolf Canis lupus signatus and two mesocarnivores (the red fox Vulpes vulpes and the stone marten Martes foina) in Central Portugal. In total, 67.2% of the samples screened were infected; Toxascaris leonina (40.6%) was the parasite with the highest prevalence, followed by Ancylostomatidae and Eimeria spp. (28.1%). Eimeria spp. was found in stone marten with the highest infection rate (37,800 OPG), followed by T. leonina (10,100 EPG) in a red fox sample. Moderate to high levels of parasitic infections were identified in 73.3% of red foxes from the western area. Our results highlight the possibility of cross-infection among these carnivore species and cross-contamination in the wildlife-livestock-human interface.

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Fig. 1

Adapted from Carvalho et al. (2020)

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Data supporting the conclusions of this article are included within the article and its supplementary table.


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Ana M. Figueiredo and Dário Hipólito were supported by a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/144582/2019 and SFRH/BD/144437/2019, respectively) and cofinanced by the European Social Fund POPH-QREN programme. R. T. Torres was supported by a research contract (2021.00690.CEECIND) from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. The research performed by Luís Madeira de Carvalho is supported by CIISA/FMV Project UIDB/00276/2020 and LA/P/0059/2020 — AL4AnimalS, both funded by FCT. We acknowledge financial support to Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) by FCT/MCTES (UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020), through national funds. This research was also supported by the LIFE WolFlux (LIFE17 NAT/PT/000554), funded by the LIFE programme of the European Union, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

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Correspondence to Ana Manuel Figueiredo.

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Gomes, F.R., Hipólito, D., Aliácar, S.C. et al. Endoparasites of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and mesocarnivores in Central Portugal. Parasitol Res 122, 435–440 (2023).

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