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Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 350–355 | Cite as

Coccidiosis in European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) populations in the Iberian Peninsula

  • Sofia Marques SilvaEmail author
  • Catarina Ferreira
  • Joana Paupério
  • Rodolfo Miguel Silva
  • Paulo Célio Alves
  • Armando Lemos
Research Note

Abstract

The European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus is a keystone species from the Iberian Peninsula where viral diseases have played a prominent role in regulating their populations. Coccidiosis, a parasitic disease caused primarily by Eimeria spp., is also thought to have important negative effects. However, few studies have investigated the impact of coccidia on wild European rabbit populations on the Iberian Peninsula. Here we estimate coccidian prevalence in rabbit faecal samples collected along transects established in two ecological regions. Six Eimeria species, with different pathogenicity, were identified (E. coecicola, E. perforans, E media, E. magna, E. irresidua and E. flavescens). Species diversity varied significantly between regions although mean oocyst excretion levels were generally low in both areas (57.61 s.d.±78.07 and 17.03 s.d.±27.72, oocyst per gram of rabbit faeces). This study is the first to describe the composition of the Eimeria spp. assemblage for wild rabbit populations on the Iberian Peninsula and provides fundamental information for future studies on the potential interaction of viral and parasitic diseases.

Keywords

Eimeria spp. Lagomorpha Portugal faecal pellets protozoans host-parasite interactions 

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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Marques Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Catarina Ferreira
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Joana Paupério
    • 2
  • Rodolfo Miguel Silva
    • 5
  • Paulo Célio Alves
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  • Armando Lemos
    • 5
  1. 1.Departamento de ZoologiaMuseu Paraense Emílio Goeldi/Universidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GenéticosUniversidade do Porto, InBIO Laboratório AssociadoVairãoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of BiologyTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos CinegéticosUniversidad Castilla La Mancha (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  5. 5.Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel SalazarUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  6. 6.Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  7. 7.Wildlife Biology ProgramUniversity of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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