Available online 23 April 2016
- raccoon dogs play a significant role as Trichinella reservoir.
- in Germany the raccoon dog population has risen dramatically over the past decade.
- the Trichinella prevalence is highest in North-Eastern Germany in addition to the largest raccoon dog population.
- 1.9% of 1527 raccoon dogs from Eastern Germany examined between 2000 and 2014 were Trichinella positive.
- 90% of the Trichinella positive raccoon dogs were infected with T. spiralis
In recent years the raccoon dog population in Germany has risen dramatically and a steady westward expansion can still be seen. In addition to the highest Trichinella prevalence in wild boar and the most reported Trichinella cases in domestic swine from backyard farms, the North-Eastern part of Germany also has the highest raccoon dog density in the country. Due to their distinct scavenging behavior, raccoon dogs play a significant role as Trichinella reservoir. Therefore, to increase the knowledge on Trichinella spp. in raccoon dogs, we performed a study on the occurrence of Trichinella in the North-Eastern federal state of Brandenburg. In total 1527 raccoon dogs were examined between 2000 and 2014. An average of 1.9% of the raccoon dogs were Trichinella spp. positive. 90% of the positive animals were infected with T. spiralis and one animal each with T. britovi and T. pseudospiralis. In T. spiralis infected animals, the number of larvae found in the muscle tissue ranged between 0.5 and 235 larvae per gram (lpg), with a median of 14 larvae. A tentative temporal increase in Trichinella occurrence was seen between the time periods 2008 to 2010 and 2011 to 2014.
Based on the size of the raccoon dog hunting bags of the past decade, the species spread in westerly and north-westerly direction is evident. An interesting question is how the raccoon dog will influence the Trichinella prevalence in the sylvatic cycle in these regions in the years to come.
- raccoon dogs;
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