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Comparative Study
, 21, 4

Epizootic and Zoonotic Helminths of the Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) in Illinois and a Comparison of Its Helminth Component Communities Across the American Midwest

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Comparative Study

Epizootic and Zoonotic Helminths of the Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) in Illinois and a Comparison of Its Helminth Component Communities Across the American Midwest

Shelby J Hiestand et al. Parasite.

Abstract

A total of 6257 helminths of 19 taxa were recovered from the digestive tract and lungs of 67 bobcats in Illinois. Infections caused by Alaria mustelae, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Macracanthorhynchus ingens are reported for the first time in bobcats. From all the taxa recovered, only three species occurred in high prevalence and caused intense infections: Taenia rileyi, Alaria marcianae, and Toxocara cati, with prevalence and mean intensity of 70% and 6; 42% and 193, and 25% and 14 individuals, respectively. Prevalence lower than 15% of 14 helminth species suggests bobcats are not continuously exposed to infective stages of a single parasite, and may be exposed to a large variety of generalists during their lifespan. No significant difference in parasite species according to host sex or age was detected, except for Diphyllobothrium spp., which were found more frequently in females and in trapped bobcats, and the hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, which infected juveniles more frequently. Average species richness per infracommunity was 2.4 (±1.2), and the parasite component community showed low qualitative similarity with neighbor communities. The taxa A. caninum, Alaria spp., Diphyllobothrium spp., Paragonimus kellicotti, and T. cati are etiological agents of epizootic and zoonotic diseases.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Collection locations for trapped (13) or road killed (32) individuals used to characterize infections suffered by bobcats (Lynx rufus) in Illinois during 2003–2012. States where other surveys have been completed are shaded gray.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Rarefaction curves of parasite species recovery per infracommunity in bobcats collected during 2003–2012. The Mau τ index was employed to calculate the observed species and the confidence intervals per node (infracommunity).
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Dendogram representing Jaccard’s similarity index among parasite communities of 46 species of bobcat parasites across 10 different localities. Only species of parasites present in the digestive tract have been included in the analysis. Average distance was used to reconstruct the distance between clusters.

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