Detection of Trichinella murrelli and Trichinella pseudospiralis in bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Oklahoma

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Trichinella spp. infect wild carnivores throughout the world. We determined the prevalence and mean infection intensity of Trichinella spp. in bobcats (Lynx rufus) from 41 counties in Oklahoma (USA). Tongues from 306 bobcats were examined using artificial tissue digestion. The prevalence (95% confidence interval) of Trichinella spp. was 5.9% (3.7%–9.2%) in which 18 of the 301 bobcats were infected. Bobcats infected with Trichinella spp. were detected in 10 of the 41 (24.4%; 13.7%–39.5%) counties sampled. Although variable, a statistically significant difference was not detected in the prevalence of Trichinella spp. among counties where bobcats were collected. The mean (standard deviation) and median (range) infection intensity of Trichinella sp. larvae were 30.9 (39.8) and 9.6 (0.6–119.9) larvae per gram of tissue examined. Genotyping results demonstrated that 17 bobcats were infected with T. murrelliand one bobcat was infected with T. pseudospiralis. This is the first report of T. pseudospiralis in bobcats and in Oklahoma. These data suggest the bobcat, as an obligate carnivore, is likely an important host in maintaining T. murrelli sylvatic cycles in Oklahoma.

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Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports