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Gastrointestinal parasites in an isolated Norwegian population of wild red deer (Cervus elaphus).

Davidson RK, Kutz SJ, Madslien K, Hoberg E, Handeland K - Acta Vet. Scand. (2014)

Bottom Line: Assessment of abomasal parasite burden and body condition revealed no significant trends.In calves, statistically non-significant correlation was seen between increased parasite burden and decreased slaughter weight, whilst the opposite was seen in adults with the heaviest adults exhibiting the higher burdens.This isolated population was parasitised by a reduced subset of gastrointestinal nematodes typical of this cervid across an extensive geographic range in Eurasia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Pb 750 Sentrum, NO-0106, Oslo, Norway. bekidavidson@hotmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Thirteen red deer (Cervus elaphus), culled from the isolated population at the Mongstad Oil Refinery, Norway, were investigated for gastrointestinal helminths. These animals, enclosed by the refinery fence, do not have contact with other ruminants and have a high population density considering the available browsing area (1 km(2)) within the refinery site (3 km(2)). The population was estimated to be 110-130 at the time of culling.

Results: The helminth fauna among these sampled red deer was enumerated and species were identified based on morphology. Ostertagia leptospicularis/O. kolchida was detected in 83% [CI 55 - 95%], Spiculopteragia spiculoptera/S. mathevossiani in 92% [CI 65 - 99%] and Trichostrongylus axei in 42%, [CI 19 - 68%] of the abomasa examined. Characterisation of the intestinal parasite fauna revealed Capillaria bovis, Cooperia oncophora, Oesophagostomum venulosum, Trichuris globulosa and tapeworm fragments (presumed anoplocephalids) in seven individuals. Only one calf had an infection with more than one intestinal helminth (tapeworm fragment and Trichuris globulosa). The remaining six deer had single species intestinal infections. No significant age related trends were seen, with the exception of higher intensity of infection of T. axei in yearlings relative to other age classes. Assessment of abomasal parasite burden and body condition revealed no significant trends. In calves, statistically non-significant correlation was seen between increased parasite burden and decreased slaughter weight, whilst the opposite was seen in adults with the heaviest adults exhibiting the higher burdens. Given the small sample size the trends that were seen need further investigation. The parasite burden was aggregated with three adult red deer harbouring 75% of the total abomasal parasite count.

Conclusion: This isolated population was parasitised by a reduced subset of gastrointestinal nematodes typical of this cervid across an extensive geographic range in Eurasia. The intensity and abundance of abomasal nematodes was higher in this isolated population than reported in similar studies of red deer populations across Europe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map (a) of the Mongstad area with inset of a map of Norway showing Mongstad (red square) as well as Tingvoll and Suldal (black circles); images (b and c) of the area grazed by the red deer, that is enclosed on three sides by a fence and on the fourth by the sea; red deer post-mortem examination in the field (d), with a backdrop of the industrial complex.
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Fig1: Map (a) of the Mongstad area with inset of a map of Norway showing Mongstad (red square) as well as Tingvoll and Suldal (black circles); images (b and c) of the area grazed by the red deer, that is enclosed on three sides by a fence and on the fourth by the sea; red deer post-mortem examination in the field (d), with a backdrop of the industrial complex.

Mentions: Knowledge regarding biodiversity of gastrointestinal nematodes in wild red deer populations from Fennoscandia is lacking. The sole exception is a Norwegian student thesis [8], describing the gastrointestinal fauna in 25 animals taken by hunters from two municipalities in West Norway in 2005. Although the municipalities studied, Suldal and Tingvoll (Figure 1), are important areas for red deer, considerable numbers of sheep and cattle are also grazed during the summer. Thus, parasite transmission from domestic ruminants may have influenced patterns of helminth diversity. In this regard, red deer were commonly infected with species of Ostertagiinae, although identifications were incomplete, in addition to a broader assemblage of helminths known to occur in other wild cervids and domestic ruminants (Table 1). Parasitological surveys of red deer in continental European countries also identify Ostertagiinae as the predominant components of the abomasal fauna, usually including multiple polymorphic species of Ostertagia, Spiculopteragia and possibly Teladorsagia [9-13]. Polymorphism among males of single species (two or exceptionally three discrete male morphotypes) within this group of parasites has resulted in some inconsistency in reports that document diversity of nematode parasites in ungulates [5,14]. Minor morphs have frequently been reported as discrete species in some studies leading to confusion about host associations and geographic range for some species. Consequently, recognition of polymorphic species and correct morphological and taxonomic identification is vital to provide an accurate picture of diversity [12,15]. Establishing baselines including greater knowledge of the gastrointestinal helminth fauna and accurate species identification of abomasal ostertagiines in red deer is needed to address the potential for cross transmission of parasites among free-ranging and domestic ungulates and can incorporate parasites into management decisions for wild cervid species in Norway.Figure 1


Gastrointestinal parasites in an isolated Norwegian population of wild red deer (Cervus elaphus).

Davidson RK, Kutz SJ, Madslien K, Hoberg E, Handeland K - Acta Vet. Scand. (2014)

Map (a) of the Mongstad area with inset of a map of Norway showing Mongstad (red square) as well as Tingvoll and Suldal (black circles); images (b and c) of the area grazed by the red deer, that is enclosed on three sides by a fence and on the fourth by the sea; red deer post-mortem examination in the field (d), with a backdrop of the industrial complex.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4197323&req=5

Fig1: Map (a) of the Mongstad area with inset of a map of Norway showing Mongstad (red square) as well as Tingvoll and Suldal (black circles); images (b and c) of the area grazed by the red deer, that is enclosed on three sides by a fence and on the fourth by the sea; red deer post-mortem examination in the field (d), with a backdrop of the industrial complex.
Mentions: Knowledge regarding biodiversity of gastrointestinal nematodes in wild red deer populations from Fennoscandia is lacking. The sole exception is a Norwegian student thesis [8], describing the gastrointestinal fauna in 25 animals taken by hunters from two municipalities in West Norway in 2005. Although the municipalities studied, Suldal and Tingvoll (Figure 1), are important areas for red deer, considerable numbers of sheep and cattle are also grazed during the summer. Thus, parasite transmission from domestic ruminants may have influenced patterns of helminth diversity. In this regard, red deer were commonly infected with species of Ostertagiinae, although identifications were incomplete, in addition to a broader assemblage of helminths known to occur in other wild cervids and domestic ruminants (Table 1). Parasitological surveys of red deer in continental European countries also identify Ostertagiinae as the predominant components of the abomasal fauna, usually including multiple polymorphic species of Ostertagia, Spiculopteragia and possibly Teladorsagia [9-13]. Polymorphism among males of single species (two or exceptionally three discrete male morphotypes) within this group of parasites has resulted in some inconsistency in reports that document diversity of nematode parasites in ungulates [5,14]. Minor morphs have frequently been reported as discrete species in some studies leading to confusion about host associations and geographic range for some species. Consequently, recognition of polymorphic species and correct morphological and taxonomic identification is vital to provide an accurate picture of diversity [12,15]. Establishing baselines including greater knowledge of the gastrointestinal helminth fauna and accurate species identification of abomasal ostertagiines in red deer is needed to address the potential for cross transmission of parasites among free-ranging and domestic ungulates and can incorporate parasites into management decisions for wild cervid species in Norway.Figure 1

Bottom Line: Assessment of abomasal parasite burden and body condition revealed no significant trends.In calves, statistically non-significant correlation was seen between increased parasite burden and decreased slaughter weight, whilst the opposite was seen in adults with the heaviest adults exhibiting the higher burdens.This isolated population was parasitised by a reduced subset of gastrointestinal nematodes typical of this cervid across an extensive geographic range in Eurasia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Pb 750 Sentrum, NO-0106, Oslo, Norway. bekidavidson@hotmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Thirteen red deer (Cervus elaphus), culled from the isolated population at the Mongstad Oil Refinery, Norway, were investigated for gastrointestinal helminths. These animals, enclosed by the refinery fence, do not have contact with other ruminants and have a high population density considering the available browsing area (1 km(2)) within the refinery site (3 km(2)). The population was estimated to be 110-130 at the time of culling.

Results: The helminth fauna among these sampled red deer was enumerated and species were identified based on morphology. Ostertagia leptospicularis/O. kolchida was detected in 83% [CI 55 - 95%], Spiculopteragia spiculoptera/S. mathevossiani in 92% [CI 65 - 99%] and Trichostrongylus axei in 42%, [CI 19 - 68%] of the abomasa examined. Characterisation of the intestinal parasite fauna revealed Capillaria bovis, Cooperia oncophora, Oesophagostomum venulosum, Trichuris globulosa and tapeworm fragments (presumed anoplocephalids) in seven individuals. Only one calf had an infection with more than one intestinal helminth (tapeworm fragment and Trichuris globulosa). The remaining six deer had single species intestinal infections. No significant age related trends were seen, with the exception of higher intensity of infection of T. axei in yearlings relative to other age classes. Assessment of abomasal parasite burden and body condition revealed no significant trends. In calves, statistically non-significant correlation was seen between increased parasite burden and decreased slaughter weight, whilst the opposite was seen in adults with the heaviest adults exhibiting the higher burdens. Given the small sample size the trends that were seen need further investigation. The parasite burden was aggregated with three adult red deer harbouring 75% of the total abomasal parasite count.

Conclusion: This isolated population was parasitised by a reduced subset of gastrointestinal nematodes typical of this cervid across an extensive geographic range in Eurasia. The intensity and abundance of abomasal nematodes was higher in this isolated population than reported in similar studies of red deer populations across Europe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus