Occurrence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Norwegian red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

Vet Parasitol. 2007 Feb 28;143(3-4):347-53. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.08.032. Epub 2006 Oct 11.


Faecal samples from 269 Norwegian wild red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) shot during the hunting season (October-April) in 2002-2004 were examined for the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in samples from 6 (2.2%) of the foxes, and Giardia cysts in 13 (4.8%) of the foxes. The prevalence of Giardia infection was significantly higher in juvenile male foxes than in adult male foxes, but no other significant differences between age and sex were found. No significant differences in prevalence related to geographical origin of animals were found. Insufficient nucleated Cryptosporidium oocysts were isolated for successful PCR, but genotyping of Giardia duodenalis isolates from seven foxes demonstrated a high degree of heterogeneity amongst them, with all isolates belonging to the zoonotic Assemblages A and B.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / parasitology
  • Cryptosporidiosis / epidemiology
  • Cryptosporidiosis / veterinary*
  • Cryptosporidium / isolation & purification*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Foxes / parasitology*
  • Giardia / isolation & purification*
  • Giardiasis / epidemiology
  • Giardiasis / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Parasite Egg Count / veterinary
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors