The Pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus) as new definitive host for Spirometra erinacei (Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidae)

Acta Trop. 2014 May:133:78-82. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 18.


Spirometra erinacei, Faust, Campbell and Kellogg, 1929, is a pseudophyllidean cestode of the family Diphyllobothriidae. The genus Spirometra is cosmopolitan and these parasites infect carnivores, specially felids and canids. In Argentina, S. erinacei and S. mansonoides have been reported sporadically only in domestic definitive hosts. The Pampas fox, Lycalopex gymnocercus, is the most abundant native carnivore in southern South America, where it inhabits grasslands and open woodlands and areas highly modified by extensive ranching and agricultural activities. This report describes the first finding of S. erinacei infecting Pampas fox, and provides an estimate prevalence of this cestode in rural areas of southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina based on 78 complete Pampas fox intestine samples analysis. This study found a 15.4% of prevalence of S. erinacei in small intestine (adult stage) and a 21.8% in fecal samples (egg stage). In the present work, the first case of S. erinacei in a wild definitive host from Argentina was reported expanding the list of definitive hosts of S. erinacei in South America.

Keywords: Argentina; South America; Wild mammals; Zoonotic parasitic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Canidae / parasitology*
  • Cestode Infections / epidemiology
  • Cestode Infections / parasitology
  • Cestode Infections / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / parasitology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Spirometra / growth & development*
  • Spirometra / isolation & purification*