Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
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

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.


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.


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.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 4 articles


    1. Altizer S, Nunn CL, Thrall PH, Gittleman JL, Antonovics J, Cunningham AA, Dobson AP, Ezenwa V, Jones KE, Pedersen AB, Poss M, Pulliam JRC. 2003. Social organization and parasite risk in mammals: integrating theory and empirical studies. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 34, 517–547
    1. Anonymous 1996. Digital Data Set of Illinois, CD-ROM, vol. 1, Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Springfield, Illinois
    1. Anonymous 2013. Ecoregions of North America. Environmental Protection Agency 2013, 09/16/2013 [cited 2013 December 20, 2013]. Available from: – Downloads
    1. Anonymous 2013. Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States. Parasites [cited 2013 December 18, 2013; November 22, 2013]. Available from:
    1. Bevins SN, Carver S, Boydston EE, Lyren LM, Alldredge M, Logan KA, Riley SP, Fisher RN, Vickers TW, Boyce W, Salman M, Lappin MR, Crooks KR, VandeWoude S. 2012. Three pathogens in sympatric populations of pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats: implications for infectious disease transmission. Plos One, 7(2), e31403. - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Supplementary concepts

LinkOut - more resources